Pony Express Day
Pony Express Day is a celebration of those brave souls who created the unique mail delivery system. In the wild west days, there wasn’t a Fed Ex or a Postal Service that went that far west. Ship delivery was likely to take several months, if ever.
Leavenworth and Pike’s Peak Express Company saw the need for a special delivery service and jumped at the chance to fill this gap. This important decision led to one of America’s most iconic pieces of American History. It is still reflected in many Pony Express Day Festivals across the American Midwest.
Pony Express was a mail carrier that transported mail, newspapers and other messages by horse-mounted riders. From the 3rd April in 1860 to the 24th October in the next year, this service was in operation between California and Missouri. This was a huge investment in the United States. While the Pony Express was operational, the time it took to send messages between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts was reduced to approximately ten days.
The Pony Express made a significant difference in the speed with which messages could be sent. It also had a variety of knock-on benefits. As a result, catalogs were created, which allowed people to buy products and have them delivered by horse. This was the most direct way to communicate at that time. This is crucial in order to ensure that California’s new state was connected with the rest of the nation.
It is possible to wonder why the Pony Express lasted so little time, considering its revolutionary nature. It went bankrupt. Despite being heavily subsidised, the company couldn’t be a financial success. This is due to a faster telegraph service being created at the time. The venture was short-lived, but it proved that a unified communication system could be built and maintained all year.
The Pony Express became popularized after the telegraph replaced it. It was a part American West legend. It relied on hardy young horses and fast horses to make it work. This was evidence of Frontier times and the American individualism that was associated with them. We should pay tribute to them with Pony Express Day.
Between April 3, 1861 and October 1861, the Pony Express was in existence for 18 months. There was no airmail or great American Highway in those days. Instead, there were hundreds of miles of open spaces, with very little between, and only animal-filled wildernesses and hollows.
There was only one route to take if you wanted a small letter or package to be sent from East to West beyond the St. Joseph gateway. Pony Express was a huge employer in its day, employing up to 80 young riders at any one stage. They had strict requirements regarding their weight, age, and size.
Pony Express prefers to hire the youngest riders possible, partly because of their strength and partly because they are light. The horse’s weight and ability to carry more cargo was correlated with how long they could run. This was vital because the horses had to be ridden for 10 to 15 miles before being changed.
Each 75-100 mile rider was replaced, but mail never slowed down in bad weather. The average trip from coast-to-coast (on horseback) took about 10 days. The trip took them 10 days to complete, but when Lincoln delivered his Inaugural Address, it took only 7 days and 17hrs.
Pony Express Day Festivals are a popular way to honor the courage of young mailmen. Postal Express Day is a day where you can dress up in the costume of one of the young mailmen who were the heart of America‚Äôs fast-tracked postal service. You can also watch equestrian events that honor the difficulties they faced.
Let’s not forget about the true heroes of equestrian events, the horses who carried people and posts across the country time and again. Many of these events have many related events, including events that are food-related.
Chili was a staple of the American West and there was often a pot filled with this hot staple to keep riders fueled as they arrived at their destinations.
You can host a local event at your own home if you are unable to attend one. You can make Chili and Cornbread, or you can find logos online. Also, the 1953 movie Pony Express, starring Charleston Heston, Rhonda Fleming, is available for download!
This classic is about the amazing American institution, and the struggles and achievements of those who worked to make it possible. Pony Express Day is a great opportunity to get together with friends and celebrate the Pioneer spirit in the Old West.
These jobs attracted many young men. You can read more about some of the famous riders back then. This includes Billy Tate. He was just 14 years old when he began to ride the express trail. Tragically, he was murdered when he came in contact with Paiute Indians on the trail. His body was found laced with arrows.
Jack Keetley was another famous rider. He wrote the following in a letter: