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FG 295 (United States Postal Service)

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These Presidential historical materials are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration under the provisions of Title I of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (44 U.S.C. 2111 note), and implementing regulations. In accordance with the act and regulations, archivists reviewed the file group to identify private or personal as well as non-historical items. Such items, if found, have been withdrawn for return to the individual with primary proprietary or commemorative interest in them.

Materials covered by this act have been archivally processed and are described in this finding aid. Items that are security classified or otherwise restricted under the act and regulations have been removed and placed in a closed file. A Document Withdrawal Record (NA Form 14021) has been placed in the front of each folder describing each withdrawn item. Employees of the National Archives will review periodically the unclassified portions of closed materials for the purpose of opening those which no longer require restrictions. Classified documents may be reviewed for declassification under authority of Executive Order 13526 in response to Mandatory Review Request (NA Form 14020) submitted by the researcher.

  • Linear measurement of materials:   10 in.
  • Number of pages:   3,500

Organization Information

The United States Postal Service was established by the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 (84 Stat. 719) as public corporation to succeed the U.S. Postal Department.  Lawrence F. O'Brien, Postmaster General under President Lyndon Johnson, first proposed the idea of a public corporation in 1967. By becoming a public corporation the Post Office, O'Brien concluded, would overcome operational and financial problems that hindered national postal service. President Johnson endorsed this proposal in January 1968. Shortly after taking office, President Nixon directed his Postmaster General, Winton M. Blount, to review O'Brien's proposals. After Blount reported to the President that the deterioration of postal service could be averted by a reorganization, President Nixon urged Congress to make postal reform a legislative priority. Congress passed the Act on August 12, 1970.  The primary duty of the  Postal Service, according to the Act, was to "provide postal services to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people." The Act also called for the establishment of a Board of Governors, a Postal Service Advisory Council, and a Postal Rate Commission. 

Scope and Content Note

The records of  FG 295 are divided into five segments, each covering Postal Service operation or oversight.  The segments of the file are:

FG 295            United States Postal Service
FG 295-1         Board of Governors, United States Postal Service
FG 295-2         Postal Service Advisory Council
FG 295-3         Postal Rate Commission
FG 295-4         Postmasters - Post Offices

FG 295 UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE (USPS)

The primary duty of the Postal Service was to provide prompt and efficient delivery of the nation's correspondence. These records consist of correspondence, memorandums, reports, speeches and speech drafts, and personnel actions. Some records predate postal reorganization. Primary correspondents include the President, John Ehrlichman, H. R. Haldeman, Peter Flanigan, Larry Higby, Robert Finch, William Timmons, Dwight Chapin, and Postmasters General Winton M. Blount and Elmer T. Klassen   Topics include postal reform, the transition of the Post Office Department to public corporation, Postal Service administration and operations, the management of postal facilities and property, employer/employee relations within the Postal Service, postal worker activities, mail service to and from Vietnam, and the establishment of National Postal Service Day (July 1, 1971).

FG 295-1 BOARD OF GOVERNORS, UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE

Executive power over USPS operations rested with the Board of Governors. Composed of 11 members, the Board appointed the Postmaster General and Deputy Postmaster General, directed and controlled expenditures of the Postal Service, reviewed its practices and policies, authorized capital improvements, and submitted the annual report to the President. These records consist of correspondence, memorandums, press releases, and personnel actions. Primary correspondents include the President,  John Ehrlichman, Robert Finch, Peter Flanigan, Harry Flemming, Daniel Kingsley, Jerry Jones,  Fred Malek, and Board of Governors chairman Frederick R. Kappel. Topics include Postal Service executive positions, appointments to the Board, and the Postal Service annual report.

FG 295-2 POSTAL SERVICE ADVISORY COUNCIL

The Advisory Council advised and consulted with the USPS on all aspects of postal operations. It consisted of the Postmaster General, Deputy Postmaster General and 11 additional members, divided as follows:  four members from labor organizations, four representatives of major mail users, and three members from the public at large. These records consist of correspondence, memorandums, press releases, recommendations, and personnel actions. Primary correspondents include the President, Charles Colson, William Timmons, Daniel Kingsley, George T. Bell, and Postmaster General E. T. Klassen.  The records focus primarily on appointments to the Council.

FG 295-3 POSTAL RATE COMMISSION

The Postal Rate Commission established fair and equitable rates of postage, fees for postal services, and classifications of mail, making adjustments when necessary. It consisted of five members. These records consist of correspondence, memorandums, press releases, personnel actions, and reports. Primary correspondents include the President, John Ehrlichman, Charles Colson, John Dean, William Timmons, Tod Hullin, Alexander Haig, Ken Cole, and Harry Flemming.  Topics include Civil Service Commission oversight of the Commission, postal rates, proposed fee increases, and the impact of postal changes on the private sector. Other topics include Commission appointments and events.

FG 295-4 POSTMASTERS-POST OFFICES

This file segment covers postmasters and postal administration in local post offices and regional postal centers. These records consist of correspondence, memorandums, recommendations, telegrams, and publications, as well as a number of photographs and architectural plans. Primary correspondents include the President, John Ehrlichman, Robert Finch, William Timmons, Max Friedersdorf, William L. Gifford, and Peter Flanigan. Topics include the filling of postmaster vacancies by the USPS, the building of post offices and regional distribution centers, mail delivery, postal administration on the local level, and the preservation of the Old Post Office Building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C.

Corresponding oversized attachments for all file segments of FG 295 have been processed and integrated into the files.

The terms Executive and General are used before the code FG 295 generally to determine the source of the materials. Items designated Executive are communications among national, foreign, state and local governments and their agencies, Members of Congress, and other prominent people. Items designated General are communications between Government officials and private citizens, institutions, and other private interests. 

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