Pony Express Day
Pony Express Day is observed next on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024 (37 days from today).
The last Saturday in August is Pony Express Day in order to honor the brave souls who created the unique mail delivery system of the same name. Back in the days of the wild west, there was no Fed Ex, no Post Office running that far west, no planes, and ocean freight deliveries could take months if they arrived.
Pony Express is a mail service that delivers letters, newspapers and messages through horsemen. There was only line between California and Missouri that was operated from April 3rd, 1860 until October 24 of the next year. This represents a monumental investment in the United States. Time for messages to travel between the Pacific and Atlantic coasts has been reduced to about ten days while Pony Express operates.
Pony Express not only makes a big difference in the speed of sending messages, but also leads to some negative effects. For example, the creation of catalogs is a consequence of this, allowing people to buy products and deliver them by horse. This became the most direct means of communication at the time. It is imperative that the new state of California aligns with the rest of the country.
You might wonder the reason why the Pony Express existed in a short time after considering its revolutionary during this period. In fact, it went bankrupt. The company was not able to succeed financially, despite the fact that it was heavily subsidized. This coincided with a faster telegraph service being developed at the time. However, the short-term project shows that a unified communication system can be created and operated all year.
When the Pony Express was replaced by the telegraph, it became romanticized, becoming part of the lore of the American West. The fact that it relies on fast horses and tough, young riders is proof of the days of the Borders and the rough American individualism that was so attached to them, and that's why we respect them. Honor these people and animals with Pony Express Day.
Origin of Pony Express Day
The Pony Express existed for 18 months from April 3, 1860 to October 1861. In these days there are no airways, no great American highways, all there are hundreds of miles of open space with not much in between but the wilderness filled with animals and hollows filled with rocks.
During this time, if you want to send a letter or a small package from anywhere East through St. Joseph, Missouri, there's only one way to go. Pony Express was a major employer at the time, with up to 80 young riders recruited at any given stage, with strict requirements for their age, size and weight.
Pony Express prioritizes recruiting the youngest riders they can, partly because of their resilience, and partly because of how light they are. The lighter the rider, the longer the horse can run and the more cargo the rider can carry, and since horses are fully tilted for a distance of 10 to 15 miles before shifting, this is important.
Riders change every 75 to 100 miles, but mail has never slowed down even in the worst weather conditions. While the average trip from coast to coast (On horseback!) took 10 days, when they sent Lincoln's Inaugural Address, the trip was made in just 7 days and 17 hours.
Celebrating Pony Express Day
With Pony Express Day a staple across the US, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate the bravery of these young postmen. You can spend Courier Postage Day dressing up as one of the adventurous young souls who have served as the hub of the fast-tracked US postal service while watching the news. Equestrian events celebrate the challenges they face.
Speaking of equestrian events, let's not forget the true heroes of this endeavor, the horses that carried people and crisscrossed the country time and time again. These events usually have a series of related events, including food related events.
Chili peppers are one of the staples of the old American West, and as you can imagine there's often a pot of this spicy frothy to keep racers fed as they come in and out with packs.
If there is no a local event, you can celebrate an event at your home. Make Chili and Cornbread, find logos and the like to print online and download the 1953 film 'Pony Express' featuring Charleston Heston and Rhonda Fleming!
This is a classic about this great American institution and the trials and efforts of the men and women who fought to make it happen. So get together with your friends and family on Pony Express Day, and celebrate the Pioneer spirit of the Ancient West!
You can also take this opportunity to learn more about the Pony Express and the extraordinary riders and horses responsible for keeping it running. Riding the Pony Express is not easy. The riders must be light but hard. In fact, it is thought that a famous advertisement reads like this:
A lot of young men applied for these jobs, and you can read about various famous racers at the time. This includes Billy Tate. He was only 14 years old when he started taking the highway. Tragically, he was killed when he came into contact with a group of Paiute Indians while en route. His body was filled with arrows.
ObservedPony Express Day has been observed annually on April 3rd.
Sunday, April 3rd, 2022
Monday, April 3rd, 2023
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024
Thursday, April 3rd, 2025
Friday, April 3rd, 2026