The weekly news update featuring The Pony Express
To all North Pole City Elves, those in Santa's Village, in the Lower 48 and all around the world, this is your weekly update for the week of April 3, 2023. I'm your host Walter "Mistletoe" Livingstone and I'm your co-host, Becky "Marshmallow" Livingstone, Let's go to press.
For the week of April 3, 2023 your sponsor will be The Peppermint Shack. Located at 397 Snowball Run Road The Peppermint Shack offers the best smooth peppermint cocoa and pub games in North Pole City. Make sure to stop by the Peppermint Shack today.
Santa is resting up just fine after spraining his ankle Friday night at the Marathon Dance. For those of you who were not in attendance, Santa spun around Mrs. Claus during one of the dances and stepped down the wrong way on the dance floor and twisted his ankle. Mrs. Claus did warn him not to wear his boots to the dance, but he just didn't listen. He is expected to be back in the workshop some time this week.
Edward Hinklemyer sent out a message congratulating all of the workers who worked on the Office of Elf Affairs offices this past week. "It is nice to see us brought into this century," said Edward. "All of the elf workers did a great job and I just love this new paint scheme. I think we should schedule and update every 500 years or so moving forward.' The Office of Elf Affairs is back open now for anyone needing to visit.
If you have not visited TAOLF.com lately or signed up for the Peppermint Post digital news paper, NOW IS THE TIME! What are you waiting for, we cannot do it for you. Simply go over to TAOLF.com and click on the Peppermint Post to sign up to get your North Pole City News right in your inbox each week on Monday.
This week in NPC weather we have SNOW in the forecast! Temperatures will be between -22 and -25 with Snow Wednesday through Saturday! Accumulation is expected to be between 1 and 2 inches each day with the highest accumulations on Friday.
WELF-NPC is looking for a new night time DJ for the radio station. Anyone wishing to be a DJ, please submit your applications to the Office of Elf Affairs along with a tape of you being a DJ on the radio. You will be contacted sometime in the next couple of weeks for an interview and an opportunity to join the WELF-NPC radio team.
On April 3, 1860, the first Pony Express mail, traveling by horse and rider relay teams, simultaneously left St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. Ten days later, on April 13, the westbound rider and mail packet completed the approximately 1,800-mile journey and arrived in Sacramento, beating the eastbound packet’s arrival in St. Joseph by two days and setting a new standard for speedy mail delivery.
The Pony Express was an American express mail service that used relays of horse-mounted riders. It operated from April 3, 1860, to October 26, 1861, between Missouri and California. It was operated by the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company.
It was ultimately short-lived and unprofitable, though the Pony Express captivated America’s imagination and contributed to the economy of the towns on its route and served the mail-service needs of the American West in the days before the telegraph or an efficient transcontinental railroad.
The Pony Express debuted at a time where letters sent from New York to the West Coast traveled by ship, which typically took at least a month, or by stagecoach on the recently established Butterfield Express overland route, which could take from three weeks to many months to arrive. Compared to the snail’s pace of the existing delivery methods, the Pony Express' average delivery time of 10 days seemed like lightning speed.
The Pony Express Company was the idea of William H. Russell, William Bradford Waddell and Alexander Majors, owners of a freight business, Leavenworth & Pike's Peak Express Company. It would later known as the Pony Express. They set up 186 Pony Express stations about 10 miles apart along the Pony Express route along a pioneer trail across the present-day states of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California. At each station, the express rider would change to a fresh horse, taking only the mail pouch called a mochila (from the Spanish for pouch or backpack) with him.
More than 400 horses were acquired for the project. These horses averaged about 14.2 hands (58 inches) high and 900 pounds each; thus, the name pony was not always appropriate. To keep care of the ponies, riders could not weigh over 125 pounds and horses switched out every 10 to 15 miles. The riders on the other hand rode day and night and were changed every 75 to 100 miles and riders carried loads estimated at up to 20 pounds of mail with them.
Among the riders was the legendary frontiersman and showman William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, who reportedly signed on with the Pony Express at age 14 or 15. When working for Slade's Division in Wyoming, he is said to have made the longest nonstop ride (from Red Buttes Station to Rocky Ridge Station and back) when he found that his relief rider had been killed. This trip of 322 miles was completed in 21 hours and 40 minutes, and 21 horses were required.
The company’s riders set their fastest time with Lincoln’s inaugural address, which was delivered in just less than eight days.
The initial cost of Pony Express delivery was $5 for every half-ounce of mail, then it dropped to $2.50, and by July 1861 to just $1. With the advent of the first transcontinental telegraph line in October 1861, the Pony Express could not compete and ceased most of its operations. However, the legend of the lone Pony Express rider galloping across the Old West frontier to deliver the mail lives on today.
Do any pieces of Pony Express mail exist today? Yes, though only 250 known examples of Pony Express mail remain. Of them, only a single letter is known to exist from the inaugural westbound trip from St. Joseph to Sacramento and two letters are known to exist from the inaugural eastbound trip. There is only known to be one Pony Express mailing, which left San Francisco on July 21, 1860, that did not immediately reach its destination. That mail pouch did not reach St. Joseph and subsequently New York until almost two years later, but it did arrive.
Come out for a visit to the NPC Commerce Association building this Monday. The NPC Dessert Club will be providing chocolate mousse at the NPC Commerce building from noon to 8 p.m. for a Chocolate Mousse Day celebration. Corby Snow and Barney from WELF-NPC will be in attendance at the event and will be signing autographs and handing our WELF-NPC merchandise. You will not want to miss this event.
The NPC Sports League will be holding a Table Tennis Competition for all craftsman elves on Thursday in Mrs. Claus' cafeteria for Table Tennis Day. Sign up to participate at the workshop by Wednesday to participate in the competition. There will be singles and couples competitions throughout the day.
This week in community events we begin with Chocolate Mousse Day on Monday the 3rd. There will be chocolate mousse available at the NPC Commerce Building which will be provided by the NPC Dessert Club.
Tuesday the 4th is International Carrot Day and Hug a Newsperson Day. EB will be celebrating carrot day on Easter Island, but we will celebrate here as well. Carrot dishes will be available all day at the NPC Hotel. Also, you can participate in hug a newsperson day while there as Walter will be available for a visit.
Wednesday the 5th is Deep Dish Pizza Day, and Read a Map Day. Mrs. Claus' Kitchen will be providing deep dish pizzas for lunch and the History and Research Division will be pulling out some old maps for everyone to take a look at and will even show you how to read one if you need assistance.
Thursday the 6th is a big day. It is Fresh Tomato Day, Library Day, Table Tennis Day, Caramel Popcorn Day, and Burito Day. Don't miss the table tennis competition with the NPC Sports League and be sure to check out a book from the Library as well. Need a snack? The eateries in town and the NPC Cocoa Pubs will be featuring buritos with fresh tomatos and caramel corn for dessert to combine the other holidays.
Then on Friday the 7th it is World Marbles Day. There will be marbles available for play in the workshop and in the city center auditorium. Join in a game when you have a free moment.
Saturday the 8th is Trading Cards for Grownups Day. The NPC Cards and Collectables shop will be passing out some new trading cards today for anyone over the age of 200.
Finally on Sunday the 9th it is Unicorn Day. Come out and celebrate this beloved figure by heading out to the observation deck out atop Mystical Mountains to view the unicorns playing on the far side.
WELF-NPC would like to wish a very happy 500th birthday to Arturo "Happy" Scarbough. Arturo has worked in Mrs. Claus' Kitchen for 300 years and is responsible for chocolate mousse creations. We can not wait to see what Arturo has in store for Chocolate Mousse Day this week and we wish him many more happy years!
This is Walter "Mistletoe" Livingstone and Becky "Marshmallow" Livingstone with the reminder: Chocolate is happiness you can eat. ~Ursula Cohaupt.
Have a good evening, and be sure to tune in next week for another WELF-NPC North Pole Radio News Update.