USPS Did Not Suspend All Services in Pennsylvania and Ohio in November 2023

A curious headline about the U.S. Postal Service led some users to believe that mail service had been temporarily suspended in two states.

Published Nov 30, 2023

U.S. Postal Service letter carrier Dennis Stecz walks back to his truck after delivering a package Jan. 28, 2009 in San Lorenzo, California. The U.S. Postal Service asked the U.S. Congress for permission to discontinue mail delivery one additional day a week in an effort to make up financial losses. The Postal Service is forecasting a loss of $9 billion in 2009. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Image Via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

On Nov. 30, 2023, we received reader mail that asked if it was true that the U.S. Postal Service was temporarily suspending mail services in the states of Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Why were people searching for this rumor? One reader provided a clue.

That reader shared with us a snippet from an apparent news story that included the headline, "USPS Temporarily Suspending Services in Pennsylvania and Ohio, Effective Now."

We traced that headline to an article on The article said that it was "provided by Best Life." It read as follows:

USPS Temporarily Suspending Services in Pennsylvania and Ohio, Effective Now

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) takes safety seriously, and the winter season is filled with potential hazards. Freezing temperatures, icy roads, and snow storms can make it much dangerous for carriers to deliver mail and customers to retrieve it. But these are not the only safety concerns you need to be worried about: Unrelated safety issues have prompted new temporary closures from the Postal Service in two different states. Read on to find out more about the latest service suspensions.

Despite the mention of "read on" in the last sentence, we found no link on the page that would lead readers directly to a longer version of the article.

While the headline on did not specifically say that all services in the entire states of Pennsylvania and Ohio would be suspended, that interpretation was apparently how some readers, including commenters and Facebook users, understood it.

"What ever happened to the motto of the Pony Express?," one Facebook user remarked, sharing a link to the story. "This can affect deliveries of medicines that come through the mail from E-Scripts for the Veterans and so forth! Once America could rely on our postal system but not any more! They charge more and deliver less!"

Another user posted, "Another failure of the government. NO MAIL!!!!!!!!!!"

More users who believed that all mail service was being suspended in both states asked about the purported motto of the USPS, which they believed was, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

However, according to the Postal Service, it has no official motto. More on that later in this story.

The Truth: Four Post Offices Temporarily Closed

The one-paragraph article snippet included attribution to Best Life, but again, lacked a direct link to the full story.

A Google search for the Best Life website and the postal story led us to the full article on The headline on the Best Life website was different: "USPS Temporarily Suspending Services in These Places, Effective Now."

The truth of the matter was that the full article said that the Postal Service had announced in November that a total of four post offices in Pennsylvania and Ohio would be temporarily closed for various reasons.

According to the Postlandia website, as of 2017, the state of Pennsylvania had 1,805 post offices in operation, while Ohio had 1,117. Those two numbers totaled 2,992 post offices. The temporary closure of four post offices would make for about 0.13 percent of all 2,992 post offices. That's all.

To be clear, mail service was not completely suspended in the two states, despite what some readers interpreted the headline in question to mean.

In October, another Best Life article was also syndicated on with the similar headline, "USPS Temporarily Suspending Services in Indiana, Illinois, and South Carolina, Effective Now." This snippet article also lacked a direct link to the full story.

We reached out to Best Life by email to ask about this matter and will update our story if we receive a statement in response.

To track U.S. mail service disruptions in your area, we recommend this page on the agency's website. (This link was also shared in the full article from Best Life.)

USPS Says It Has 'No Official Motto'

As for that purported motto, the users who shared it on Facebook might be surprised to learn the history of the phrase. According to the Postal Service, it has no official motto:

The U.S. Postal Service has no official motto. Nope, it’s not this: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” But we certainly appreciate the sentiment.

Those words are engraved on the front of the James A. Farley Post Office in NYC, set in stone by the architectural firm that built it. The phrase is taken from an ancient book by the Greek historian Herodotus and refers to messengers in the Persian Empire.

The phrase comes from book 8, paragraph 98, of The Persian Wars by Herodotus, a Greek historian. During the wars between the Greeks and Persians (500-449 B.C.), the Persians operated a system of mounted postal couriers who served with great fidelity.

The popular belief that Herodotus’s description of the Persian postal service is about the U.S. Postal Service is a tribute to the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have delivered the mail reliably and dependably, through all conditions, for centuries.

The purported motto is perhaps famously remembered by some readers from an episode of "Seinfeld," in which the character of George Costanza tells Newman, who works as a postman, that "rain" comes first in the saying.


“No Official Motto.” U.S. Postal Service,

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.