Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum’s New Virtual Exhibit Honors America’s Postal Workers

Press Release

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum announces the launch of “In the Line of Duty,” a new virtual exhibit on the museum’s Web site. The site, In the Line of Duty, offers insights on the role of postal workers as everyday heroes. Throughout the nation’s history, those responsible for delivering the mail have saved the lives of others as well as risked—and even given—their own lives in the performance of their duties.

The site features images of artifacts and photographs in addition to stories of courage, commitment and quick thinking by postal workers from the earliest days of the post to today. Visitors to the site will learn…

  • About a New York City mail clerk who became a postal legend; with one heroic deed in 1919, Charles Caplan saved many of America’s most prominent leaders from certain danger and possible death
  • How postal clerks aboard the R.M.S. (Royal Mail Ship) Titanic tried in vain to save the mail carried by the doomed ship
  • The myriad ways in which postal workers responded to the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001
  • That more than 700,000 postal workers demonstrated uncommon courage by just showing up for work after anthrax in the mail claimed the lives of postal workers Thomas L. Morris, Jr. and Joseph P. Curseen, Jr.
  • How a partnership between the United States Postal Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the direct mail services company ADVO has resulted in the safe recovery of 132 missing children

The online exhibit is a companion to the “In the Line of Duty,” exhibit that opened at the National Postal Museum Oct. 8, 2003. The exhibit, which features a bulletin board on which visitors can post a tribute to their own “postal hero,” is currently on view at the National Postal Museum.

The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., in the Old City Post Office Building across from Union Station. The museum is open daily, except Dec. 25, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit the museum’s Web site at

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