Until the late 1960s, you could walk into a post office and deposit money in a savings account at the same time that you bought stamps or mailed packages.
An outgrowth of the financial panic of 1907, the no-frills postal bank surged in popularity during the Great Depression. But as commercial banks expanded and offered higher interest rates, the United States Postal Savings System became as outdated as a black-and-white movie.
Now, in the wake of another financial crisis, there's a new push for the U.S. Postal Service to deliver basic banking services again.
The effort is led by consumer advocates, financial reform groups, postal labor unions and some leading liberals,...