President Woodrow Wilson watches the takeoff of the first scheduled airmail plane

On May 15, 1918, the Post Office Department began scheduled airmail service between New York and Washington, D.C. (with a stop in Philadelphia, Pa.).

Congress appropriated $100,000 in 1918 (PDF) to be used in establishing experimental airmail routes. The pilots and planes were courtesy of the War Department and its Army Signal Corp; the Post Office argued successfully that carrying the mail would provide valuable flying experience to student flyers.

From The National Archives

68 Notes

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