On this day in 1914, the main post office building in New York City opened its doors. The building’s main claim to fame is the inscription chiseled in gray granite on its enormous facade which reads:
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
Although many will recognize these words as the motto of the United States Postal Service, officials are quick to point out that there is no official U.S.P.S motto. Nevertheless, it would be difficult to find another building in the world that more effectively uses the words engraved on its outside walls to capture and to motivate the mission that is fulfilled inside.
The words of the inscription originate from the Greek historian Herodotus and refer to Persian mounted postal couriers who served faithfully in the wars between the Greeks and the Persians (500-449 B.C.).
In 1982, New York’s main post office building was officially designated The James A. Farley Building, in memory of the nation’s 53rd Postmaster General. The building’s ZIP code designation is 10001 (1).
Today’s Challenge: Words Worth Setting in Stone
What words do you think are important enough to chisel in stone? What motto would you etch on the outside of your school or your place of business? Hold a contest to determine the best motto. Either research a quotation by another person to use as your motto, or write your own using your own original words. Remember that a motto must be pithy and must express a rule to guide the behavior of persons who inhabit the building.
(Common Core Language 3 – Knowledge of Language)
Quotation of the Day: I was a drum major for justice, peace, and righteousness. -Words chiseled on the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C.