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Comment: I just ran across this odd tidbit & am unsure if I believe it (can't find
anything about it on the internet): The White House has its own secret
ZIP Code, separate from the publicly-known 20500, for the President of the
United States and his family to receive private mail.

I just can't believe the ZIP Code could stay secret with the number of
people (& the employees of the USPS) that would know about it.

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Quote source.

I think the secret ZIP code is 20308.

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Gibbie
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Hmm where's Mr. Furious' dad, the postmaster? [Smile]

20308 comes up empty in the USPS online lookup. I'm not sure how a super secret zip is going to work, it's going to have to be encoded in the postal database in order for the mail to be properly sorted. No on is out there pulling out the presidents mail by hand.

On the other hand it looks like the post office uses different plus 4s for the different occupants of the White House:

Look up for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave

quote:
WHITE HOUSE
1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW
WASHINGTON DC 20500-0003
Carrier Route: C000
County: DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA



PRESIDENT
1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW
WASHINGTON DC 20500-0001
Carrier Route: C000
County: DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA



FIRST LADY
1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW
WASHINGTON DC 20500-0002
Carrier Route: C000
County: DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

And so on. (dang, I don't think the link will work, you'll have to fill in the fields yourself)

Would make more sense to me for the Prez to have a separate PO box to get his personal mail, than have a super secret zip code. But I've been wrong before.

20307 - Walter Reed Army Medical Center
20310 - Dept. of the Army, Pentagon
Just looking at what's around 20308

Gibbie

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ParaDiddle
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I always wonder if the people who invent stuff like the OP are imagining what it would be like to write a screenplay. Only it's their entry into the "Bad Screenwrters" contest.

{eta}
note the typo. . . that's what makes it a contest for bad writers

Let's analyze the OP, shall we? The intent of the hidden zip code is ostensibly that the first family can recieve personal mail. Is there anything that stops them from receiveing personal mail through convetional means?

So, If the first family recieves personal mail through conventional means, it would be reasonable to assume that there are security measures in place that screen and possibly open anything that is mailed to the White House.

If there was a "secret zip code" that circumvents those measures, how long could the secret be kept secure and how would the SS know if it had been compromised? I'm guessing that they wouldn't know until after the letter blew up.

I'm guessing that Laura Bush's family/hometown chums do not reasonably expect her mail to reach her before being opened.

- P

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snopes
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quote:
If there was a "secret zip code" that circumvents those measures, how long could the secret be kept secure and how would the SS know if it had been compromised?
I'd guess that if such a ZIP code existed, it wouldn't be so much a "secret" or a means of avoiding screening procedures as it would be something that simply wasn't publicized for the sake of convenience.

Think of it this way:

The President and the First Family get tons of mail from all over the world. If any of them were expecting a personal letter from a friend or family member, it would probably take ages for the White House staff to sort it out from the crush of general mail (if they recognized it at all). How to resolve this problem? Use a different ZIP code for personal White House correspondence. Sure, some "non-authorized" people might find out about it and use it, but the staff's having to pick out personal correspondence from a few hundred pieces of mail per day is a lot better than their having to pick it out from a few hundred thousand pieces of mail.

- snopes

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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89044 was supposed to be Skunkwork's secret ZIP code. NIC-01 was supposed to be Naval Intelligence's ZIP code. (I find the first to be more believable in that it supopsedly comes from a court case relating to employee exposure to toxic waste.)

Anyway, a separate ZIP code isn't really necessary -- a separate address (1602 Pennsylvania Ave?) or a special mail stop (1600 Pennyslvania Ave, Ste 34) would work, too. I think maybe the best way would be to use a separate address at some non-obvious office with a small staff to inspect those letters and hand-deliver them.

Supposedly, the First Family has to abandon personal e-mails, IM IDs, and cell numbers when they come into office (How To Be President).

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Jason Threadslayer
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Okay, it's true and it's a special Plus 4 code. Presidential Pen Pals:
quote:
In a season when Washington is turning itself inside out over the issue of access to the President--who has it, how much did they have to pay to get it, what did they get in return--it turns out that the most valuable scrap of information to have is a nine-digit number. That number is a ZIP code, one that tells the White House post office to pluck that letter from the 15,000 addressed to Bill Clinton every day and slip it directly under the President's door.
ETA: It's also in the Carolyn Huber's Travelgate Deposition:
quote:
Q So her secretary, Pam Cicetti, might get letters and send them to her [Hillary Clinton]. And you mentioned some other people.

A Alice Pushkar is in charge of the major correspondence that comes in. She gets all the letters that does not have this personal zip code number on it so everybody in the world doesn't know that zip code number.



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Joseph Z
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quote:
Originally posted by Gibbie:
Look up for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave

WHITE HOUSE
1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW
WASHINGTON DC 20500-0003
Carrier Route: C000
County: DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

That's strange. When I look it up on Microsnot Streets and Trips 2005, the adjacent buildings to White House are

Washington DC Visitor Info Center
1455 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 789-7038

White House Visitor Center
1450 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 208-1631

Blair House
1651 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 879-7880

So if White House's zip is 20500, what happened to the rest of the county zip that follows?

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Joseph Z

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I Am 6-Ironsman
Deck the Malls


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20006 is a zip code that centers around Pennsylvania Avenue, running southwest of the White House (prob in the areas of 17th-25th Sts NW from Penn Ave to Constitution Ave). My past apartment building on 21st St btw E and F NW was 20006. There is a sub zip code, 20052, that routes mail directly to The George Washington University mailroom. The World Bank/IMF complex on 18th and 19th Sts has its own zip too, 20431.
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snopes
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quote:
Anyway, a separate ZIP code isn't really necessary -- a separate address (1602 Pennsylvania Ave?) or a special mail stop (1600 Pennyslvania Ave, Ste 34) would work, too.
But given that the Post Office has a very large and extensive system in place to sort mail according to ZIP code, it's the most practical method. It allows the USPS to segregate the personal mail from the general mail rather than lumping it all together and requiring the White House staff to sort it out.

- snopes

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