Social Studies Connections
Using our History of the Postal Service Timeline as a reference, create a timeline in the classroom and have students arrange individual events in the correct order. (You may want to use Timeliner software.)
The Pony Express delivered the mail through the Wild West beginning in 1848. Riders took eight days to travel the nearly 2,000-mile trail. Using books, Cobblestone magazine, and the U.S. Postal Service web site [www.usps.com], have students research the Pony Express.
At various times and places in America, hot-air balloons, camels, dogsleds, ponies, reindeer, trains, stagecoaches, homing pigeons, steamboats, mules, airplanes, ships, rockets, cars, buses, trucks, and snowmobiles have delivered mail. How do you predict mail will be delivered in the future? Draw a picture of mail being delivered in this way.
Ask students to use various research tools to find the connection between each of these important people and the U.S. Postal Service:
- George Washington
- Benjamin Franklin
- Abraham Lincoln
- Harry Truman
(George Washington, our first president, wrote the first airmail letter. It traveled by balloon. Benjamin Franklin was the first U.S. postmaster generalthe government official who heads the Postal Service. His picture was on the first U.S. postage stamp, and he was known as the Father of the U.S. Postal Service. Two U.S. postmasters general have gone on to serve as president: Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman.)