Monday, September 5, 2011

Pony Express 151 Anniversary Cover - Official Cover, Carried on Horses

Hello Readers,

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the original Pony Express.

To celebrate, the NPEA designed a cover that would be mailed, by horse back, from the starting point to the end of the Pony Express route.

Riders left St. Joseph, Mo., on Aug. 17, and the last rider arrived in Sacramento on Aug. 27.

The ride was originally set for June 7-17, but was rescheduled due to an outbreak of equine herpes virus. The 10-day 24-hour-a-day event includes more than 600 riders stationed at intervals to relay the designed leather mailbag during the 1,966-mile ride.

The original young riders traveled alone on horseback and were exposed to unpredictable dangers and weather conditions as they raced westward to deliver the mail. Mark Twain said of the young men: "The pony-rider was usually a little bit of a man, brimful of spirit and endurance." Mail service along the Pony Express route was a much-needed service that provided valuable news and information prior to the stringing of telegraph wires across the country and the transcontinental railroad.

Though the Pony Express was only in business 18 months (1860 through mid 1861), the Pony Express epitomized the American spirit, and according to some historians also helped win much needed federal aid for a more economic postal system.

It also helped contribute to the economy of such small towns and communities along the route including Stagecoach, Ft. Churchill, Stagecoach, Dayton, Carson City, Genoa and all settlements dotting the rider's route.