A New Century began - Pete Harrington, Chairman - Carol Bowman, Co-Chair


Illinois Rural Letter Carries’ Association welcomed the NRLCA Membership in grand style to Chicago for our 100th anniversary celebration! This is a page of those memories to enjoy for many years to come.

Memories of August 5-8, 2003


The Illinois Rural Letter Carriers' Association welcomed all Rural Letter Carriers' and their families to the 99th National Convention and 100th Birthday Party of the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association this summer in grand style at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago.. 100 years ago the very first organization meeting of the Association was held in Chicago at the Sherman House, and 100 years later after a "Century of Progress", Chicago was the home site for the 100th Birthday Convention! It is hard to determine what the favorite thing we did was because there were so many. A special thank you and salute to Chairman, Pete Harrington, and Co-Chair, Bowen, along with all the Committee Chairs and volunteers, who served diligently for years in preparation for this grand party, making it very special for all rural letter carriers from across the country. May these memories last a life time and may you enjoy each visit here.'

The first annual convention of the National Rural Letter Carriers' was held on Friday, September 11, 1903,

in Chicago, Illinois at the Sherman House. States represented were: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Colorado, Kansas, New York, Nebraska, Missouri, Michigan, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Oklahoma. According to the R. F. D. News, "The representatives of 15,000 hard worked and poorly paid carriers gathered in the Ladies Ordinary, Sherman House, Chicago, for their first annual National convention, Friday, September 11, 1903. It was a body of men of which any profession might feel proud…These were men who had sacrificed money and time to attend the convention and earnestness of purpose was written on every face. As they were stranger to each other the morning was spent in shaking hands and getting acquainted with each other and talking over all the common interests of life in the little wagons. This was not time lost, as it expedited the business that came further on in the proceedings." (reference R. F. D. News)

The 99th annual convention of the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association was held August 5 -8, 2003, in Chicago, Illinois at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. 43 States were represented including Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerterico and the Virgin Islands. Over 1,000 hard worked and poorly paid carriers gathered in the Grand Ballroom for their 99th annual National Convention. It was a body of men and women of which any profession might feel proud. These many men, women and their families had sacrificed money and time to attend the convention and earnestness of purpose was written on every face, along with the delight in celebrating 100 years of the organization, and celebrate they did. On Sunday evening a large 100th birthday party was thrown, with balloons, cake and ice cream and the works, including entertainment by the Blues Brothers themselves, and many weary rural carriers and their families from 1903 who came to visit us all in grand attire. On Monday Chairman Harrington called the historical Monday session to order and bagpipers led us in procession with an acknowledgement of all the service organizations with each branch song being played as their respective flag was carried in and all service men and women alike were recognized for their sacrifices on our behalf. Following beautiful music by the bagpipers and the 100th Anniversary Centennial Choir, for the first time in history all five President of the

Postal Unions spoke to the body and were seated together at the head table. Following many speeches and congratulations for our 100 Years, Chairman Harrington and the Illinois State Board presented the National Board led by Gus Baffa, President, with a time capsule made by an Illinois Junior, crafted from wood and carved with the NRLCA Logo and filled with information gathered from every state in the nation to mark the end of a century and the beginning of a new one so that 100 years from now, once again, many hard worked carriers and their families will hopefully journey back to Chicago to celebrate another 100 years of this grand organization.

On Tuesday morning, August 5, 2003, Chairman Harrington and Co-Chairman Bowen called the meeting to order followed by aprocession of the Illinois Delegation led by the Blues Brothers themselves dancing and handing out glasses, hats and a special edition newspaper to all attendees as Sweet Home Chicago rang from the rafters over the PA system. Everyone joined in the dance including the national board members who rocked the head stage. After settling down it was time to go to work and the delegates were uplifted with the historical significance and celebration of the Association, yet ready to buckle down and go to work. And work they did, until closing on Friday after 5:00 PM. Much business was done in those many hours, and much is left to do.

Illinois is the 3rd largest agricultural producer in the United States. 75% of the state's twelve million people live within commuting distance of Chicago, which controls the bulk of the state economy. Illinois stretches from the Chicago skyline in the northeast corner to the forested Shawnee Hills between the Mississippi and Ohio rivers in the deep south. There is a great difference from the quiet rural areas of Illinois to the center of Chicago known for its museums, restaurants and cafes, innumerable bars and nightclubs paying homage to the city's strong jazz and blues heritage.

We are often known as the "Land of Lincoln" and are happy to be home to the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, who practiced law in Illinois from 1837 onwards in Springfield, the state capital and home of a wide range of Lincoln sites, including his restored home, his law offices and various other period buildings and artifacts, as well as his tomb.

The 99th National Convention and the 100th Anniversary of the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association was held in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois - 2,019 rooms. 175 suites. 4 restaurants. Room service. Hyatt Business Plan, business center, express check in/out, oversized baths, hair dryers, magnifying mirrors and service bars. A prime downtown location on the Magnificent Mile, near the shores of Lake Michigan, and within walking distance of premier shopping, theaters and cultural attractions! You won't want to miss it.


It was the 100th Anniversary of the NRLCA - ILLINOIS - Birthplace of the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association!

Cherish the memories | 2003 was a very good year | Happy Birthday NRLCA!