Zip Code Day – July 1st

Zip Code Day

History of Zip Codes

July 1st is Zip Code Day . The date July 1st was chosen because the first 5-digit ZIP codes were introduced all over the United States on this date in 1963.

A ZIP Code is a postal code used by the US Postal Service (USPS). The 5 digit zip code was Introduced in 1963. Then in 1983, an extended ZIP+4 code was introduced; it included the five digits of the ZIP Code, followed by a hyphen and four digits that designated a more specific location.

ZIP actually is an acronym that means Zone Improvement Plan. Before there were our now official ZIP codes, there were postal district numbers for the 124 largest cities in the nation usually consisting of one or two numbers. For example, Minneapolis 16, Minnesota. We still use those original numbers as the last couple numbers of zip codes. These postal codes were created during World War II in an effort to make a short-staffed postal system more efficient.

Robert Moon is considered the creator of the ZIP Code. He submitted his proposal in 1944 while working as a postal inspector. The post office credits Moon with the first three digits of the ZIP Code, which describe the sectional center facility (SCF) or “sec center”. An SCF is a central mail processing facility with those three digits. The fourth and fifth digits, which give a more precise locale within the SCF, were proposed by Henry Bentley Hahn, Sr..

In 1983, the U.S. Postal Service introduced an expanded ZIP Code system which is the ZIP+4. A ZIP+4 Code uses the basic five-digit code plus four additional digits to identify a geographic segment within the five-digit delivery area, such as a city block, a group of apartments, a post office box, or any other unit that could use an extra identifier to aid in efficient mail sorting and delivery. However, the use of this extra four digits is not mandatory.

International addresses follow a specific format which is dictated by recommendations from the country of origin and from the destination country. Some zips in other countries may contain numbers and letters for example: Nova Scotia , Canada: B9A 1Z2.

Random Zip Code Trivia

  • The White House has its own ZIP code: 20500.
  •  The General Electric plant in Schenectady, New York has the ZIP code – 12345. 
  • Fictional character, Smokey the Bear actually has a ZIP code: 20252. This is because of all the letters he receives from kids.
  • Newton Falls, Ohio, has the ZIP code 44444. Easy enough to remember huh?
  • Ketchikan, Alaska has the highest ZIP code: 99950.
  • Holtsville, NY has the lowest zip code: 00501.
  • Santa Claus’s Zip Code is North Pole, H0H 0H0.

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