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Zip-code system marks 50th anniversary

Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 2:42 p.m. CDT

This upcoming week marks the 50th anniversary of the United States Postal Zoning Improvement Plan, or ZIP code system.

The system went into effect on July 1, 1963.

Former Osceola Postmaster L.L. Hagie was quoted in the June 25, 1963, issue of "The Osceola Sentinel-Tribune" as saying “The ZIP code is literally the last word in efficient mail addressing.”

Because the first digit identified the geographic area, the second and third digits identified the city or sectional center, and the fourth and fifth digits identified the individual post office or delivery unit, the ZIP code enabled mail handlers to read the address in one glance.

According to the June 27, 1963. issue of "The Osceola Sentinel-Tribune," “The numerical code numbers have been established by the post-office system to eventually allow for machine sorting of mail in major mail centers, and to immediately simplify the mail sorting problem throughout the nation.”

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