No matter where you’re from, you’re likely familiar with the concept of a postal code. That string of numbers and/or letters at the end of your address that designates just where in the heck your address actually is. The origin of Zip Codes actually came from postal district numbers or postal zone numbers that helped mail carriers find their way within larger municipalities.
London and Liverpool were among the first cities to be divided into these designated sectors, but by the end of World War I they were spread throughout the world, coming to the US in the 1920’s, and eventually used in all major cities by the end of World War II. It was somewhere around this time that the concept of a ZIP code came into existence.
Ever wondered exactly what the ZIP in ZIP code stood for? (You did notice it was all capitalized right? That means it’s an acronym. No? Well, it is! Happy ‘I learned something new today’ day!) ZIP code stands for ‘Zone Improvement Plan’ and was brought into existence. While they do vary from place to place, how they’re utilized is incredibly standard. They started out just being used to make sure mail was sent to the right place and keep things flowing smoothly. Since then they’ve been utilized in a lot of different ways, including emergency services direction.
How to celebrate International Zip Code Day
Celebrating this day can require a bit of creativity, but you might consider making a cake of your local city with each of the Zip Codes marked out in icing. If you happen to be fortunate enough to live in a 523 area code, once every hundred years you may get the opportunity to do what Mount Vernon Iowa did in 2014.
The entire city happens to be encapsulated by a single zip code, so they got together to celebrate as a community. Fund-raisers were done, group photos taken, and a generally grand time was had by all as they raised awareness not just of Zip Codes, but of the closeness of their community.
What can you come up with to celebrate International Zip Code Day?