World Post Day, an annual celebration of the world’s postal organizations, is Oct. 9. Here are five things you may not have known.
1. The Royal Mail, the British postal service, traces its roots to the 16th century. It began in 1516, when King Henry VIII made Sir Brian Tuke the first “master of the posts.” Tuke was in charge of organizing a system where each town had to have three horses available to transport packets of royal letters and bring back news to the king
2. Benjamin Franklin helped shape Canada Post, too. In 1753, Philadelphia Postmaster Benjamin Franklin was named joint deputy postmaster general for the British colonies and opened the first Canadian post office in Halifax to link the Atlantic colonies with Britain. Eventually, Franklin’s involvement with the growing revolt against the British Empire made it necessary for him to leave his position.
3. Australia Post does more than deliver mail and packages. The organization also offers employment screening, a digital identification service and online payment services.
4. An Post, the Irish postal service, is also an educational and cultural institution. The organization offers classroom lesson plans, holds an annual handwriting competition for children and sponsors annual literature awards.
5. Israel Post handles God’s mail. Every year, the organization receives thousands of letters from around the world addressed to God. Once a year, Israel Post representatives take the letters to Jerusalem and place the messages between stones in the Western Wall.