Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Holidays and Observances for July 1 2014

Canada Day

Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada) is celebrated on July 1st unless that date falls on a Sunday, in which case July 2nd is the statutory holiday, although celebratory events generally take place on July 1 even though it is not the legal holiday. If it falls on a Saturday, any businesses normally closed that day will generally dedicate the following Monday as a day off.

Canada Day is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act, 1867 (today called the Constitution Act, 1867, in Canada), which united three colonies into a single country called Canada within the British Empire. Originally called Dominion Day (French: Le Jour de la Confédération), the name was changed in 1982, the year the Canada Act was passed. Canada Day observances take place throughout Canada as well as internationally.

Frequently referred to as “Canada’s birthday”, particularly in the popular press, the occasion marks the joining of the British North American colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada into a federation of four provinces (the Province of Canada being divided, in the process, into Ontario and Quebec) on July 1, 1867. Canada became a kingdom in its own right on that date, but the British Parliament kept limited rights of political control over the new country that were shed by stages over the years until the last vestiges were surrendered in 1982 when the Constitution Act patriated the Canadian constitution.

Most communities across the country will host organized celebrations for Canada Day, usually outdoor public events, such as parades, carnivals, festivals, barbecues, air and maritime shows, fireworks, and free musical concerts, as well as citizenship ceremonies for new citizens. There is no standard mode of celebration for Canada Day; professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford Jennifer Welsh said of this: “Canada Day, like the country, is endlessly decentralized. There doesn’t seem to be a central recipe for how to celebrate it—chalk it up to the nature of the federation.” However, the locus of the celebrations is the national capital, Ottawa, Ontario, where large concerts and cultural displays are held on Parliament Hill, with the governor general and prime minister typically officiating, though the monarch or another member of the Royal Family may also attend or take the governor general’s place. Smaller events are mounted in other parks around the city and in Gatineau, Quebec

Given the federal nature of the holiday, celebrating Canada Day can be a cause of friction in the province of Quebec, where the holiday is overshadowed by Quebec’s National Holiday, on June 24. For example, the federal government funds Canada Day events at the Old Port of Montreal—an area run by a federal Crown corporation—while the National Holiday parade is a grassroots effort that has been met with pressure to cease, even from federal officials. The nature of the event has also been met with criticism outside of Quebec, such as that given by Ottawa Citizen columnist David Warren, who said in 2007: “The Canada of the government-funded paper flag-waving and painted faces—the ‘new’ Canada that is celebrated each year on what is now called ‘Canada Day’—has nothing controversially Canadian about it. You could wave a different flag, and choose another face paint, and nothing would be lost.”

Canadian expatriates will organize Canada Day activities in their local area on or near the date of the holiday. For instance, since 2006, annual Canada Day celebrations have been held at Trafalgar Square—the location of Canada House—in London, England; initiated by the Canadian community in the United Kingdom, endorsed by the Canadian High Commission, and organzied by a private promotions company, the event features Canadian performers and a demonstration of street hockey, among other activities. Annual celebrations also take place in Hong Kong, entitled Canada D’eh and held on June 30 at Lan Kwai Fong, where an estimated attendance of 12,000 was reported in 2008; in Afghanistan, where members of the Canadian Forces mark the holiday at their base; and in Mexico, at the American Legion in Chapala, and the Canadian Club in Ajijic.

Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario, have, since the 1950s, celebrated both Dominion or Canada Day and the United States’ Independence Day with the International Freedom Festival; a massive fireworks display over the Detroit River, the strait separating the two cities, is held annually with hundreds of thousands of spectators attending. A similar event occurs at the Friendship Festival, a joint celebration between Fort Erie, Ontario, and neighbouring Buffalo, New York, and towns and villages throughout Maine, New Brunswick, and Quebec come together to celebrate both anniversaries together.

International Joke Day

Each year International Joke Day is celebrated on 1st July. This day is prominently for laugh out loud with your friends and dear ones. International Joke Day may appear to be no serious stuff for many but the day speaks volumes about itself. Joke day can be an awesome opportunity to act humorously and laugh your heart out.

Although the creator or the origin of the day isn't very clear and known, it is still celebrated around the world as it a happy holiday. It is said that laughter is a remedy to all ailments then why wait for any other day than the “International Joke Day”.

It is believed that the first joke originated in ancient Greece by Palamedes. He shot to fame for outmatching Odysseus before the Trojan War. A laughter club was first formed in 350 BC. That indicates that humans have always enjoyed cracking jokes and having a good laugh. It is the primary nature of humans to swap jokes and witticisms and this is what keeps us apart from animals.

Many people across the planet are suffering from pain and agony. Reasons may differ but it is certainly a painful sight to witness suffering people. But on International Joke Day, everyone can spread a little laugh to not only to their near and dear ones but also to the entire world. There is no bigger exhilaration in this world than being happy and spread happiness. Cracking a zestful joke or two, making funny gestures, rotating mirthful videos, passing jokes through email etc. are all those activities that are mostly popular on July 1.

It is said that laughter is contagious. The more you laugh, better are the probabilities of you attributing to make the world a better place to live in. Medical science has also accepted that laughing enables you to fight off illnesses by catapulting your immune system.

On International Joke Day, people use to crack some funny jokes and make others feel happier and better. We should never forget the Japanese proverb, “time spent laughing is time spent with God”.

National Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day

The month of July was proclaimed National Ice Cream Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, and with good reason. This is an ideal time of year to cool off with a sweet, frozen treat. Several ice cream-related holidays fall within this month, including National Strawberry Sundae Day, National Peach Ice Cream Day and National Hot Fudge Sundae Day, among others.

On the 1st day of this dessert-laden month falls National Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day, which encourages celebrators to let their imaginations go wild and add any ingredients to their sundaes that their hearts desire. If you have ever thought of an ice cream flavor that you are curious to try, today is the day to test it out.

Like many other food holidays, the origins of National Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day are not easily known. Many such holidays are the creations of food companies or organizations with vested interest in a particular food.

We can, however, gain some insight into the holiday based on the history of National Ice Cream Month. The International Dairy Foods Association claims that, upon signing the official proclamation, Reagan requested that the month be marked by various celebrations and events relating to ice cream.

In July of 2009, a celebratory speech about the month was made at the closing bell of the stock market at the NASDAQ Times Square studio. "National Ice Cream Month encourages ice cream makers, scoop shops and chefs to come up with new and exciting flavors for their customers throughout the month of July," stated David Wicks, vice president of NASDAQ OMX Group.

For National Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day, you can expect to find new flavors of ice cream presented at ice cream parlors and restaurants. You can also celebrate by throwing an ice cream party at home, and encouraging guests to add their own toppings and sauces to discover new ice cream flavor combinations.

National Flash a Trucker Day

National Flash a Trucker Day is celebrated on July 1st of each year. Nicki Hunter of Night Calls on Playboy radio designated July 1st as Flash a Trucker Day in 2011. The idea is to, well, flash a trucker.

A truck driver (commonly referred to as a trucker or driver in the United States and Canada; a truckie in Australia and New Zealand; a lorry driver or driver in Ireland and the United Kingdom), is a person who earns a living as the driver of a truck, usually a semi truck, box truck, or dump truck.

Truck drivers provide an essential service to industrialized societies by transporting finished goods and raw materials over land, typically to and from manufacturing plants, retail and distribution centers. Truck drivers are also responsible for inspecting their vehicles for mechanical items or issues relating to safe operation. Others, such as driver/sales workers, are also responsible for sales and customer service.

National Gingersnap Day

National Gingersnap Day, is celebrated on July 1, giving lovers of crisp, fragrant cookies a reason to celebrate. 

Many of us remember gingersnaps from the days of our youth, but the cookies have many benefits for adults, as well. As far as cookies go, these are relatively low in calories (with about 110 per serving), and the ginger provides several health benefits. It is often used to treat nausea and other digestive maladies, and has anti-inflammatory properties that can ease arthritis. It has even been used to fight heart diseases and other major illnesses.

It is difficult to find any information on the origins of National Gingersnap Day, but the history of the gingersnap itself goes back for centuries. Cookies, breads and other baked goods were commonly flavored with spices such as ginger in the middle ages, and cookies similar to what Americans know as gingersnaps have long been produced in England and in Germany. Gingersnaps may be eaten as snacks on their own, or used to top desserts such as ice cream, gelato or mousse.

Major celebrations of National Gingersnap Day can be hard to find, but there may be regional celebrations going on. Local bakeries and food stores may hold gingersnap sales or bake up a special cookie for the occasion. In addition, manufacturers of gingersnaps may hold celebrations of some sort. You can celebrate by enjoying some of the cookies yourself, or by baking up a batch to share.

National GSA Employee Day

GSA was established by President Harry Truman on July 1, 1949, to streamline the administrative work of the federal government. GSA consolidated the National Archives Establishment, the Federal Works Agency, and the Public Buildings Administration; the Bureau of Federal Supply and the Office of Contract Settlement; and the War Assets Administration into one federal agency tasked with administering supplies and providing workplaces for federal employees. 

GSA’s original mission was to dispose of war surplus goods, manage and store government records, handle emergency preparedness, and stockpile strategic supplies for wartime. GSA also regulated the sale of various office supplies to federal agencies and managed some unusual operations, such as hemp plantations in South America.

Today, through its two largest offices – the Public Buildings Service and the Federal Acquisition Service – and various staff offices, GSA provides workspace to more than 1 million federal civilian workers, oversees the preservation of more than 480 historic buildings, and facilitates the federal  government's purchase of high-quality, low-cost goods and services from quality commercial vendors.

1950s and 1960s
In the 1950s, GSA took on a major overhaul of the White House. “Really it was more than a renovation; it was a rebuilding,” recalled inaugural Administrator Jess Larson.

GSA took on the critical assignment of emergency preparedness and began stockpiling strategic materials to be used in wartime. GSA retained various emergency management functions until they were transferred to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 1979.

In 1960, GSA created the Federal Telecommunications System, a governmentwide intercity telephone system. In 1962, the Ad Hoc Committee on Federal Office Space recommended a major new building program to address obsolete office buildings in Washington, D.C., resulting in the construction of many of the offices that now line Independence Avenue.

1970s and 1980s
In 1970, the Nixon administration created the Consumer Product Information Coordinating Center. Now called the Federal Citizen Information Center, FCIC has distributed millions of consumer information publications from its Pueblo, Colo. facility.

Authorized in 1971, the Federal Buildings Fund became operational in 1974 when GSA issued its first rent bills to federal agencies. In 1972, GSA established the Automated Data and Telecommunications Service, which evolved into the Office of Information Resources Management 10 years later.

GSA also became involved in administrative policy issues. In 1973, GSA created the Office of Federal Management Policy. GSA’s Office of Acquisition Policy centralized procurement policy in 1978. In 1985 GSA began to provide governmentwide policy oversight and guidance for federal real property management as a result of an Executive Order signed by President Ronald Reagan.

In 1984, GSA introduced the federal government to the use of charge cards. Today, the GSA SmartPay program has more than 3 million card holders. In 1987, GSA opened its first child care center, and now manages 110 federal child care facilities for more than 8,300 children across the country.

By 1995, all of GSA's policy functions had been merged into the Office of Government-wide Policy, which sets policy in the areas of personal and real property, travel, transportation, information technology, regulatory information, and use of federal advisory committees.

Inspired by the "Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture," written in 1962 by the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, in 1994 GSA's Public Building Service  introduced the Design Excellence Program to streamline the way it selects architects and engineers for major construction projects. The program has resulted in outstanding and enduring examples of federal architecture.

In 1995, GSA formed the Courthouse Management Group to manage the largest courthouse construction project in 50 years. The project has resulted in the renovation or rebuilding of federal courthouses across the nation.

As the agency transformed itself to enter the 21st century, GSA embraced new technologies, launched electronic government initiatives, and helped develop means of doing government business on the Internet.

In the1990s, GSA developed GSA Advantage!™, an online portal for federal employees to purchase services and equipment through GSA. In September 2000, GSA launched FirstGov.gov to simplify public access to government information and services.

In 2001, GSA assumed responsibility for President George W. Bush’s E-Gov Initiatives: E-Authentication, E-Gov Travel, Federal Asset Sales, and the Integrated Acquisition Environment.

In July 2002, GSA established the Office of Citizen Services and Communications (now called the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies) to manage its citizen-centered activities in a single organization. The Office of Citizen Services enabled state and local governments, the public, businesses, and the media to interact with the federal government online, via email, telephone, fax, or print. 

After having merged the Information Technology Service and the Federal Telecommunication Service into the Federal Technology Service in the 1990s, GSA consolidated FTS into the Federal Acquisition Service in 2007 to better align the delivery of its services in an ever-changing business world.

In 2007, GSA changed the name of the federal government portal from FirstGov.gov to USA.gov. With redesigned navigation, USA.gov makes it easier for the public to get U.S. government information and services on the web. Also in 2007, GSA launched GobiernoUSA.gov, which makes federal, state and local government information and services more accessible to those who speak Spanish.

This new use of technology came as GSA was returning to one of its original functions – emergency preparedness. In November 2006, GSA established the Office of Emergency Response and Recovery {now called the Office of Mission Assurance} to better assist the country during national disasters.

To comply with President Bush's National Continuity Policy, in 2007, GSA implemented  the National Continuity Policy Implementation Plan to ensure the timely recovery of the executive branch from any operational interruption and provide a centralized procurement system for all department and agencies.

In 2009, a new Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies was created to foster public engagement by using innovative technologies to connect the public to government information and services.

A 2009-2010 milestone was the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act efforts. With the goal of transforming federal buildings into higher performing, greener buildings, GSA awarded billions in Recovery Act construction funding to more than 500 companies in all 50 states, two territories and the District of Columbia. Here is the breakdown of Recovery Act dollars spent:
  • $4.5 billion: Federal building conversion to high-performance green spaces
  • $750 million: Federal building and courthouse renovations
  • $300 million: Fuel-efficient vehicles
  • $300 million: Land ports of entry renovation and construction
GSA’s 2010 Sustainability Plan sets an agency goal for a zero environmental footprint and a 30 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by greening the federal supply chain and creating sustainable innovation within its building portfolio.

In 2010, GSA became the first federal agency to move email to a cloud-based system to reduce inefficiencies and lower costs by 50 percent over the next five years.

President Barack Obama’s Open Government Directive instructed federal agencies to actively open their operations to the public. To that end, GSA developed Data.gov, a website to foster democracy, information sharing, and transparency.

The list of GSA citizen-focused websites and social media outreach efforts continued to grow and by 2010 included a Social Media Directory and the following websites:
  • USA.gov, the official portal of the U.S. government
  • GobiernoUSA.gov, the Spanish-language counterpart to USA.gov
  • GovGab.gov, a blog that showcases the usefulness, practicality helpfulness, and vitality of federal, state, and local government information
  • Pueblo.gsa.gov, providing public access to hundreds of the best federal publications
  • Consumeraction.gov, a consumer help site built around FCIC's popular Consumer Action Handbook
  • Consumidor.Gov, the Spanish-language counterpart to consumeraction.gov
  • Kids.gov, a portal to government websites designed especially for children
  • Apps.gov, a portal for government to access cloud, productivity, business, and social media technology
  • Notifications.USA.gov a real-time search of government notifications so the public can follow government news — by email, text message, or RSS feed.
  • Challenge.gov, a public engagement platform.
In 2010, GSA began modernizing its 60-year-old headquarters building in Washington, D.C., which, when completed, will be a model of sustainability and government efficiency.

In 2012 – for the seventh year in a row – GSA was named to the Top 10 Best Places to Work in Federal Government by the Partnership for Public Service.

Second Half of the Year Day

July 1st (the 182nd Day of the Year) marks Second Second Half of the Year Day – a chance to step back, evaluate your year so far with your goals and objectives (never mind the new year’s resolutions which likely didn’t last until February…) and to take action to get back on track if nescessary. It’s a great opportunity to do some hard thinking over your finances, your diet, your career and other aspects of your life that you might want to improve. Make the second half of the year count!

U.S. Postage Stamp Day

The five- and ten-cent stamps of 1847 were the first adhesive postage stamps authorized for issue by the U.S. Post Office Department, in response to a law passed on March 3, 1847. The law was to take effect on July 1, 1847 and made illegal the use of postage stamps not authorized by the Postmaster General. It is something of a surprise that no two-cent stamp was issued, since two cents was the rate for drop letters, letters that were dropped off (mailed from) and picked up at the same Post Office. 

Although the first stamps were supposed to be made available to the public by July 1, only the New York City Post Office received any stamps by that day, followed by Boston a day later, on July 2. 

Covers with July 1847 dates are exceptionally rare and much sought after by collectors. The five-cent stamp paid for domestic letters within a 300 mile radius of the post office from which it was sent, and the ten-cent stamp for anything beyond that. 

Many of the pre-July 1, 1847 stamps, including carriers, locals and provisionals, are items of great philatelic importance, but they are not covered here since they were not issued by authority of the U.S. Post Office Department. An excellent starting point to this fascinating subject may be found on the Carriers and Locals Society web site. 

The requirement to prepay the postage was not part of this new law, and many letters were sent as they always had been, without stamps. It was expected that the person who received the letter would pay the fee. Drop letters would of course fall in this category, since there was no provision for a two-cent stamp. See the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society for more on the subject of stampless letters. 

It must be pointed out that a great many of the letters of the day were sent stampless, that is without pre-payment. In fact, Carroll Chase estimated that only about one letter in fifty actually bore one of the 1847 issue stamps and the rest were to be paid on delivery. As can be imagined, there was some abuse when letters were distributed without pre-payment. Often a coded message was placed on the outside of a letter, and the recipient did not need to open the letter to determine its intent, leaving the mail carrier unpaid for his efforts. This abuse was curtailed somewhat in 1851 when the fee for a prepaid letter was dropped to three cents, meaning there was a two cent penalty for stampless letters, which still cost the addressee five cents. Finally, in 1855, it was required that all letters be prepaid and it has remained that way since. 

The New York City bank note engraving firm of Rawdon, Wright, Hatch, and Edson were given a four year contract to print the first American postage stamps. The initials: "RWH&E" are clearly engraved at the bottom of both stamps. The firm did not come up with new designs for these important stamps, rather the engravings have been attributed to the portrait engraver Asher Brown Durand. According to Brazer, the identical Durand engraving of Franklin on the five-cent stamp, Scott #1, had appeared on a $2.00 bank note of the Chemical Bank of New York, and the identical Durand engraving of Washington on the ten-cent stamp, Scott #2, had appeared on a $5.00 bank note of the Fairfield County Bank (Connecticut). It is quite likely that the vignettes from the dies used to make these bank notes were used to make the dies for the new stamp designs. 

Often overlooked is that these two stamps were originally proposed as bi-color stamps.  In early submissions RWH&E suggested that the denominations be overprinted in red ink as a security measure, a common method of thwarting counterfeiters of paper money at the time, but the cost proved to be too high and the stamps were issued in the colors we know today, the five-cent in various shades of brown and the ten-cent in black. 

In 1851, when the contract with Rawdon, Wright, Hatch, and Edson came to an end, the government solicited bids for the next series of stamps. At the same time they demonetized the stamps of 1847. After July 1, 1851, the first two U.S. stamps were no longer valid for postage. This has happened only one other time since, in 1861, when the Civil War required the Union to issue a new set of stamps to thwart the delivery of Confederate letters. All U.S. stamps since 1861 are still valid for use to pay the postage necessary to deliver a letter in the U.S. 

There is some confusion as to whether more than one plate was used to print the five-cent stamp. Elliott Perry of "Pat Paragraphs" fame accomplished a major feat in U.S. philately by plating the ten-cent stamp and thereby proving that only one plate of 200 subjects of the ten-cent had ever existed. 

One of the greatest American philatelists, Stanley Ashbrook, claimed that plating the five-cent stamp might prove impossible, since many of the printings are indistinct. It might seem strange that nearly every ten-cent stamp is sharp and crisply printed, while many of the five-cent stamps appear dull, muddy, and anything but sharp. Part of the problem is thought to be the poor quality of the brown ink used to print the stamps, or perhaps the way the ink was handled. Still, with the advent of the Internet and the ability to share crisp clean images from today's high quality scanners, the possibility of plating the five-cent stamp might come back within the realm of possibility, should a group of motivated researchers pool their resources. Perhaps the debate as to whether there was a "later" plate of the five-cent stamp may be put to rest, just as Perry did with the ten-cent stamp. 

The five-cent stamp provides collectors with a fascinating variety of shades, running the gamut of pale brown to a very dark brown (nearly black), from red browns to a bright orange brown, from olive browns to violet browns, and even a full orange. A worthwhile and well-thought six-part treatise on the subject of color varieties on the 1847 five-cent stamp, written by Calvet M. Hahn, has been made available on the Internet through the New York Chapter of the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society. 

There is some confusion as to whether RWH&E destroyed all the dies and plates used to print these stamps. At any rate, in 1875, when the re-issues of all of the previous U.S. stamps were made, new dies needed to be created for the five- and ten-cent stamps of 1847. These "Special Printings" or "Reproductions" are readily distinguished from the regularly printed stamps. It is perhaps unfortunate that Scott assigned catalog numbers of #3 and #4 to these stamps, since they were never intended as postage stamps, and they certainly were not the third and fourth U.S. postage stamps.

Zip Code Day

The change in character of the mail, the tremendous increase in mail volume, and the revolution in transportation, coupled with the steep rise in manpower costs, made adoption of modern technology imperative and helped produce the ZIP Code or Zoning Improvement Plan.
Despite the growing transport accessibility offered by the airlines, the Post Office Department in 1930 still moved the bulk of its domestic mail by rail, massing, re-sorting, and redistributing it for long distance hauling through the major railroad hubs of the nation. More than 10,000 mail-carrying trains crisscrossed the country, moving round the clock into virtually every village and metropolitan area.

The railroads' peak year may have been 1930. By 1963, fewer trains, making fewer stops, carried the mail. In these same years, 1930-1963, the United States underwent many changes. It suffered through a prolonged and paralyzing depression, fought its second World War of the 20th century, and moved from an agricultural economy to a highly industrial one of international preeminence. The character, volume, and transportation of mail also changed.

The social correspondence of the earlier century gave way, gradually at first, and then explosively, to business mail. By 1963, business mail constituted 80 percent of the total volume. The single greatest impetus in this great outpouring of business mail was the computer, which brought centralization of accounts and a growing mass of utility bills and payments, bank deposits and receipts, advertisements, magazines, insurance premiums, credit card transactions, department store and mortgage billings, and payments, dividends, and Social Security checks traveling through the mail.

In June 1962, the Presidentially appointed Advisory Board of the Post Office Department, after a study of its overall mechanization problems, made several primary recommendations. One was that the Department give priority to the development of a coding system, an idea that had been under consideration in the Department for a decade or more.

Over the years, a number of potential coding programs had been examined and discarded. Finally, in 1963, the Department selected a system advanced by department officials, and, on April 30, 1963, Postmaster General John A. Gronouski announced that the ZIP Code would begin on July 1, 1963.

Preparing for the new system was a major task involving realignment of the mail system. The Post Office had recognized some years back that new avenues of transportation would open to the Department and began to establish focal points for air, highway, and rail transportation. Called the Metro System, these transportation centers were set up around 85 of the country's larger cities to deflect mail from congested, heavily traveled city streets. The Metro concept was expanded and eventually became the core of 552 sectional centers, each serving between 40 and 150 surrounding post offices.

Once these sectional centers were delineated, the next step in establishing the ZIP Code was to assign codes to the centers and the postal addresses they served. The existence of postal zones in the larger cities, set in motion in 1943, helped to some extent, but, in cases where the old zones failed to fit within the delivery areas, new numbers had to be assigned.

By July 1963, a five-digit code had been assigned to every address throughout the country. The first digit designated a broad geographical area of the United States, ranging from zero for the Northeast to nine for the far West. This was followed by two digits that more closely pinpointed population concentrations and those sectional centers accessible to common transportation networks. The final two digits designated small post offices or postal zones in larger zoned cities.

ZIP Code began on July 1, 1963, as scheduled. Use of the new code was not mandatory at first for anyone, but, in 1967, the Post Office required mailers of second- and third-class bulk mail to presort by ZIP Code. Although the public and mailers alike adapted well to its use, it was not enough.

Introduced in 1983, the ZIP+4 code added a hyphen and four digits to the existing five-digit ZIP Code. The first five numbers continued to identify an area of the country and delivery office to which mail is directed. The sixth and seventh numbers denote a delivery sector, which may be several blocks, a group of streets, a group of post office boxes, several office buildings, a single high-rise office building, a large apartment building, or a small geographic area. The last two numbers denote a delivery segment, which might be one floor of an office building, one side of a street between intersecting streets, specific departments in a firm, or a group of post office boxes.
On October 1, 1983, the Governors of the Postal Service approved price incentives for First-Class Mail bearing the ZIP+4 code.

By the end of 1984, 252 OCRs were installed in 118 major mail processing centers across the country and were processing 24,000 pieces of mail per hour (an average productivity rate of 6,200 pieces per work hour) -- a substantial increase compared to the 1,750 pieces per work hour processed by MPLSMs.