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Post Office to Add “Zip Code”

Nov. 28, 1962 - The Post Office Department will add a five-digit number to everyone’s address on July 1. The new number will be called a “zip code.” Postmaster General J. Edward Day, who announced the plan today, said the code would help postal clerks pinpoint the destination of mail as it was sorted. He said this could speed delivery by as much as 24 hours. To help publicize the plan, the department has created a cartoon character named Mr. Zip. “Zip” stands for Zone Improvement Plan. Mr. Day said he did not expect everyone to use the new zip code. It is primarily intended for businesses that use automatic machines to address letters to their patrons. He urged companies with heavy mail to use zip code punch cards. “We are working with the big mailers,” Mr. Day said. “We are not concerned if Aunt Minnie doesn’t learn the new numbers.”


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