The Massive Fight over Sunday Mail

A new union contract at UPS may allow the company to start delivering packages on Sundays, something Federal Express and the US Postal Service already do. Sunday mail service may be no big deal today, but historian Richard R. John writes that in the early days of the Republic it was an enormous issue.

In 1810, Congress passed a law requiring post offices to open to the public for at least one hour each Sunday. Furious church leaders sent hundreds of petitions to Congress and eventually initiated one of the nation’s first efforts to rally public opinion around a cause. Two decades later, a congressman declared that the American people had never before made a “stronger expression” of their views, whether considering the “numbers, the wealth, or the intelligence of the petitioners.”

John points out that it’s hard for modern Americans to understand what a big issue this was. In many communities in the early nineteenth century, local laws restricted most forms of commerce and activity on Sundays. Theaters often closed on Saturday nights, and Sundays were devoted to collective worship.


Get the news sent straight to your inbox. Please remember, this list sends an email every weekday, so if you are not a news junkie, then this might not be the list for you. Thanks

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Join the Conversation

2 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Nobody should be delivering on Sunday’s. People need to get over their instant gratification ways. If you want Sunday delivery you should have to pay out the bum to get it. Everybody deserves 1 day off a week for goodness sake

Carol Rohrer

they don’t want mail on Saturday either – only important packages


Ahh yes, Amazon Sundays, people’s need for instant gratification is the perfect excuse for management to work CCA’s absolutely into the ground, 7 days a week. “The needs of the business” at the expense of everything else. I wonder if corporate is too incompetent to understand why the turnover rate for carriers is one of the worst in the nation or if the simply couldn’t care less.

Send this to a friend