One of the first people to have their mail sorted on the new Highway Post Office bus was President Franklin D. Roosevelt? The president, shown here with his Postmaster General Frank C. Walker, placed a letter in a mail drop on the first Highway Post Office bus. Although not currently on display, this bus, built by the White Motor Company of Cleveland, OH, is in the National Postal Museum’s collection.
The new service was created to replace Railway Mail Service in areas where railway companies were cutting service. The Highway Post Office service began with the first run of the bus on February 10, 1941 from Washington, DC to Harrisonburg, VA. (First Highway Post Office bus shown at left.) During the Second World War, demands on personnel and machinery for the war effort kept the Post Office Department from establishing another highway mail route until 1946. Roosevelt was not only an enthusiastic supporter of the new Highway Post Office, but also an ardent stamp collector. Letters posted on the first trip were marked with a special postmark in celebration of the new route.
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