Wednesday, July 27, 2011

U.S. Postal Service Plan: Sell Ben Franklin's Post Office to a Drug Store Chain

In what has become all-too-predictable slap in the face to the Founders of this nation, the U.S. Postal Service announced its plan to close the Franklin post office on Market Street in Philadelphia on the precise anniversary of the founding of what has evolved into the U.S. postal service on July 26, 1775

The B. Free Franklin Post Office is located on Franklin Square on the site of Ben Franklin's property near Philadelphia's Independence Mall, the Liberty Bell, and the home of Betsy Ross. Its name is derived from the B. Free Franklin postmark that Franklin himself used.

In 1775, Franklin already had been Postmaster of Philadelphia for 38 years and had been joint Postmaster General of the colonies for the Crown for a few years before his revolutionary leanings got in the way. It was then that the Continental Congress appointed Franklin Postmaster General of the not-yet-established nation.

By that time, Franklin had already cut the mail delivery time between major cities in half, established postal routes from Maine to Florida, and instituted regular mail service between the colonies and England. Under Franklin's system, post offices were not only regulated, they were audited.

In most public schools, it has been quite a while since the achievements of Benjamin Franklin have been considered worth mentioning.  In American education, it is hardly remembered that Franklin, before turning his efforts to founding this nation, had become a successful self-made businessman, a congenial and hardworking philanthropist, an inventor who donated his inventions to the betterment of humankind, and a self-taught scientist extraordinaire whose insights gained him entrance to--and gained the Revolution assistance from--the French Court. 

Buy your bottled water and souvenir tee-shirts here.

As reported by Fox News, "the  unassuming, three-story brick building, which pre-dates the Revolutionary War, would lose a post office but potentially gain a pharmacy, a grocery store or “other appropriate retailers” -- at least that's the view of the U.S. Postal Service.




  1. Why is it the only time the government makes any kind of a cut, it's always the fiscal equivalent to giving us the bird?

  2. @Trestin - I'm interested to see if Philly lets the USPS get away with this. That city takes in a huge amount of $ from tourists visiting its Old City and Independence Mall, but I notice that Franklin has been being shoved into the corner in recent years. At the Franklin Institute, sadly, it's easier to find face-painting for kids than mention of ol' Ben.