Motto Misnomer

The California rain storms today brings to mind a motto misnomer that most people are familiar with. But actually, the US Postal Service indeed does NOT have an official motto. It is however, often incorrectly quoted as…

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”

The small part that is true about the misquoted creed is that it’s merely a large inscription on the front of New York City’s James Farley Post Office as shown below. If you’d like a closer look so you can better read the inscription for yourself, here is the full blown photo …enjoy!

James Farley Post Office (Wikipedia 2009)

But this Postal Service fable has little known historic origins. The original passage comes from Herodotus ‘ Histories (Book 8, Ch. 98) and “describes the faithful service of the Persian system of mounted postal messengers under Xerxes I of Persia.” (Wikipedia)

It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed. (trans. A.D. Godley 1924)

For many who are more familiar with modern connotations of the word “postal”…it may be difficult for them to believe a romanticized notion such as a Postal Service creed anyway. But alas, we still have Cliff Claven.