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Re: "Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor gloom of night"

Posted by ESC on October 14, 2006

In Reply to: Re: "Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor gloom of night" posted by ESC on October 14, 2006

: : "Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor gloom of night" What is the rest of the Postal Oath? This is only part of it.

: Looked on the U.S. Postal Service site. Didn't find the answer. But I found this fascinating fact:

: Did You Know?

: When the million-dollar Hope Diamond was donated to the Smithsonian Institution, it was mailed from New York City to Washington, D.C., in a brown paper parcel.

I found the answer via cache from Wise Sayings.com. I tried to go to the original site and link but it appears to be down. Pity. It looks like a cool site.

As a Matter of Fact (Facts about wise old sayings and their authors)

Many of us have heard the postal carriers' motto in one form or another. One popular version is "Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds".

The original saying was actually "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" and was said about 2500 years ago by the Greek historian, Herodotus. He said this adage during the war between the Greeks and Persians about 500 B.C. in reference to the Persian mounted postal couriers whom he observed and held in high esteem.

Today many people believe this saying to be the U.S. Postal Service (U.S.P.S.) motto, but, in fact, is not their official slogan. According to the U.S.P.S. they have no slogan at all. The reason it has become identified with the U.S.P.S. is because back in 1896-97 when the New York City General Post Office was being designed, Mitchell Kendal, an employee for the architectural firm, McKim, Mead and White, came up with the idea of engraving Herodotus' saying all around the outside of the building. From that time on the saying has been associated with U.S. postal carriers. (Another McKim, Mead and White building is the Boston Public Library in Copley Square.)

(Source: Bob Cannon, Public Affairs and Communications Officer for the U.S. Postal Service in Boston, MA.)