National Neither Snow Nor Rain Day is on September 7, and it’s a special day for us to say a little thank you to our postal service workers. They have been of service to us for decades, and through those years, have been steadfast in delivering our precious parcels. The seemingly strange name for the day comes from the unofficial motto of the United States Postal service, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
History of National Neither Snow Nor Rain Day
U.S. Postal service workers are one of the most dedicated and loyal service teams that exist, and that impression comes from their willpower to make sure packages are sent out and delivered with safe hands, and regardless of any obstacles.
National Neither Snow Nor Rain Day is certainly a mouthful and a weirdly crafted name, but its history begins at the unofficial creed of the United States Postal Service, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” The phrase’s association with the U.S. Mail originated with its inscription on New York City’s General Post Office Building, which opened in 1914. It was derived from a passage in George Herbert Palmer’s translation of Herodotus’ Histories, referring to the courier service of the ancient Persian Empire.
The day is observed on September 7, because that was the day New York City opened its main post office, the James A. Farley building, in 1914. The building is located in Manhattan, New York, and formerly serves as the city’s main United States Postal Service (USPS) branch. It was known as the Pennsylvania Terminal until 1918 when it was renamed the General Post Office Building. The building was made a New York City designated landmark in 1966 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. It was officially renamed in 1982 after James Farley, the 53rd Postmaster General.
Postal workers and post offices have an even longer history in the United States. Benjamin Franklin became the first Postmaster General in 1775. In 1847 the first postage stamps were issued, and in 1863, during the Civil War, free city delivery began.
National Neither Snow Nor Rain Day timeline
Benjamin Franklin becomes the first Postmaster General.
The Post Office Department is created with the passage of the Postal Service Act.
The opening of the New York General Post Office takes place.
The building is officially renamed after James Farley, the 53rd Postmaster General.
National Neither Snow Nor Rain Day FAQs
Who said “Neither snow nor rain”?
One of the firm’s architects, William Mitchell Kendall, was the son of a classics scholar and read Greek for pleasure. He selected the inscription, which he modified from a translation by Professor George Herbert Palmer of Harvard University, and the Post Office Department approved it.
What is the postman’s oath?
The full “Postman’s Oath,” is, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
Does mail come in the snow?
The postal service delivers in any condition, with the exemption of Saturdays. This includes snow, rain, or heat.
How To Observe National Neither Snow Nor Rain Day
Thank or spoil a postal worker
Today is the perfect day to reach out to your local postal worker and extend them some appreciation. You can even go as far as purchasing a little gift for them that shows just how thankful you are.
Visit the Smithsonian National Postal Museum
The Smithsonian National Postal Museum is dedicated to the preservation, study, and presentation of postal history. Plan a trip and learn all about the dedicated postal service history.
Read or watch a documentary
Read about “Neither Snow Nor Rain” by Devin Leonard or in “How the Post Office Created America” by Winifred Gallagher, or watch documentaries about how your mail is delivered.
5 Facts About The U.S. Post Office You Didn’t Know
It is a part-time detective agency
Postal service employees have found criminals and cracked criminal cases by seizing narcotics and identifying hundreds of criminals from fingerprints and other physical evidence found in the mail.
They have a department that deals with bad handwriting
The Remote Encoding Center in Salt Lake City gets all of the hard-to-read mail that can't be figured out by automated mail sorters and has workers who can translate scribbles in an average of four seconds.
They don’t use your taxes
The postal service receives zero tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund everything.
The first one was in a bar
The first post office, established in 1639 in colonial America, was in Boston, in a tavern that sold ‘stronge water.’
The oldest one is in New Hampshire
The oldest continuously operating post office is the Hinsdale Post Office in Hinsdale, New Hampshire, and was previously a general store before it was converted into a post office in 1816.
Why National Neither Snow Nor Rain Day Is Important
Our postal workers are heroes
This day really helps us see just how much our postal workers deserve to be called heroes. The name itself says it all. Our postal workers go above and beyond to deliver our parcels, and they deserve more than a day to be duly appreciated.
It educates us on the postal service history
National Neither Snow Nor Rain Day really holds a bounty of information regarding the history of the U.S. postal service. This leaves us more educated and to the dedication behind the entire operation, which in turn leaves us more grateful.
It creates an opportunity to give back
The day gives us a great avenue to give back to these dedicated workers, be it in gift or kind. If you need a way to give back to integral members of the community, or just an opportunity to say thank you, National Neither Snow Nor Rain Day is the perfect day to do so.
National Neither Snow Nor Rain Day dates