This history of the postal service, from its inception over 6,000 years ago to the modern and efficient service we enjoy today, chronicles the deeds performed on and off the job by the men and women of the U.S. Postal Service. This tribute to the 790,000 men and women employed by the U.S. Postal Service includes stories about courage and kindness, heroism and humor. Discussions include: how war in the Persian Gulf highlights the importance of mail, the need for communication felt by all societies, and the importance of postal services since their inception 6,000 years ago; man's ingenuity in transporting messages, how Rowland Hill's reforms and contributions to postal operations bring speedier delivery and education to the masses, and The International Postal Congress Treaty; history and development of the U.S. Postal Service, including Ben Franklin's contribution to postal service development in the U.S., the Civil War and postal service, the pony express, and the history of air mail; the U.S. Post Office undergoes an era of change: major accomplishments under reorganization, post offices and public art in the New Deal; the postal strike: workers risk it all in the historic 1971 strike, Nixon signs the Postal Reorganization Act, the strike brings changes to the National Association of Letter Carriers; stamp collecting, soliloquy of a postage stamp, stories behind the stamps, stuck on stamps, getting started, Baltic nations give significance to older issues; one man's answer to a modern prayer - "to feed the hungry," seeing invisible people, affordable housing and homelessness; carrier exploits on and off the job: a watchful carrier saves patron's life, bringing relief to quake victims, Postal Walk benefits abused children, open house a grand success, human chain pulls boy from ice; the postal inspection service: protecting the work environment, forfeiture ($78 million returned to Postal Service from insider trading on Wall Street), internal audits, bombs in the mail, crime lab celebrates 50th anniversary; EARTH: Handle with Care: carriers make a difference on environmental issues, clearing the air, troubled waters, acid rain, leaky landfills, our disappearing rainforest; meet our former Postmaster General Anthony M. Frank: he cares about people and admires innovation, and he can handle the heat, too; privatization exposed: Canada's privatized post office puts profit before service, franchise follies, the price of privatization, union busting; postal lore and trivia; automation, contracting out, barcoding (how private companies can save millions on their mailing cost), as deliverers of forty percent of the world's mail, the U.S. leads in mail processing technology; understanding your post office and how your post office operates to serve you; postal kids news: stories for young children and the young at heart, things to do and build; and, how to apply for postal service employment. A glossary of U.S. postal terms, a list of postmaster generals of the United States, photographs and a bibliography enhance the text.