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United States Post Office Department
|United States Post Office Department|
|Formed||February 20, 1792|
|Dissolved||July 1, 1971|
|Superseding agency||United States Postal Service|
|Agency executive||United States Postmaster General|
The Postal Service Act signed by President George Washington on February 20, 1792 established the Department. Postmaster General John McLean was the first to call it the Post Office Department rather than just the "Post Office." The organization became more important in the government when President Andrew Jackson asked his Postmaster General, William T. Barry, to sit as a member of the Cabinet.
During the Civil War, postal services in the Confederacy were provided by the Confederate States of America Post Office Department, headed by Postmaster General John Henninger Reagan.
The Postal Reorganization Act signed by President Richard Nixon on August 12, 1970, replaced the cabinet-level Post Office Department with the independent United States Postal Service. The Act took effect on July 1, 1971.