Today in 2006, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens famously told his colleagues that the Internet was not a dumptruck, it was a series of tubes, figuratively speaking. But here’s a story about some literal tubes that New York City once used to deliver mail.
The “Six Triple Eight” Brought Black Excellence To The Army During World War II (Cool Weird Awesome 709)
Today in 1945, the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, began heading to England for deployment. These 855 servicemembers, all Black women, took on a mission that may not have been glamorous but was considered absolutely essential to the war effort.
There was a story recently about how NASA was partnering with Tide laundry detergent to work on a way to do laundry in space. Which means we don’t already do laundry in space, and there are some pretty big reasons why. Plus: the Royal Mail delivers a letter addressed to a woman who’d been on TV, only the writer didn't exactly have the woman's address.
Today in 1963, the US Postal Service officially started using ZIP codes as a way to quickly sort huge amounts of mail and get it to where it needed to go. How did they get Americans to adopt ZIP codes? A mascot named Mr. Zip and a jingle sung by Broadway legend Ethel Merman. Plus: for Canada Day, the story of a runner in Ontario who ran a moose-shaped route through downtown Toronto.
On this day in 1849, Henry Brown escaped slavery from a Virginia plantation in a very unusual way: he arranged it so he could hide in a small wooden box that was sent to Pennsylvania. Here's some of his story. Plus: it was on this day in 2011 that a paramedic rescued a doctor from a fiery car crash, 30 years after that same doctor had helped the paramedic survive as a newborn.
Mary Fields was the first Black woman to receive a Post Office contract to deliver the mail, and in the Wild West, no less. Here's a little more about a pioneer who definitely made some history. Plus: the story of a sibling who found a practical use for her identical twin.
There are lots of human efforts to help bees out, but there’s also some new research out that says bees help themselves by taking steps to get plants to flower earlier than usual. Plus: a man in Canada ordered hair cream in 2012, and it just arrived this month. Patience is a virtue!
It was on this day in 1914 a family in Grangeville, Idaho sent a four year old through the mail to her grandmother in Lewiston, 73 miles away. And she wasn’t the only kid to travel this way after the US Postal Service began the parcel post. Plus: the group Electronicos Fantasticos is making some fascinating music with bar code scanners!
Kryptos is a puzzle sculpture that’s been on the grounds of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia since 1990. Three of its four coded messages have been solved - and now we have a clue that might reveal the fourth. Plus: the story of the J.W. Westcott II, the only ship that has its own ZIP code.
Who says snail mail is declining?