Nightly News   |  July 01, 2013

The ZIP code turns 50

It’s the 50th anniversary of the zip code, a number that was once considered controversial since it required more effort to mail a letter. NBC’s Brian Williams reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> catchy tune. today is the 50th anniversary of the zip code . nobody could predict back then it would be called snail mail . the reason for the zippy ad campaign , it was controversial. it was considered an added burden, a lot more work to mail a letter. they explained all of us, all of those numbers have special meaning , the first number for the different zones in the country.

>> zip code . five trail-blazing numbers like this one, launch every piece of mail with space age speed and precision. it is as up to date as the computer.

>> those computers. the ad campaign worked and a once skeptical public when forced to mail a letter, wouldn't consider leaving off a zip code .