GPO Celebrates 160 Years of Keeping America Informed

WASHINGTON —The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) celebrates its 160th anniversary today. The agency opened its doors on March 4, 1861, the same day President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated, with about 350 printers and bookbinders. Those 19th century team members delivered Government information with horse and carriage. The 21st century team continues that mission today by providing the workings of our democracy on mobile devices through

Watch a video highlighting GPO’s top historic moments and achievements:

“Congratulations to the entire GPO team, past and present, for achieving this 160-year milestone of serving the Nation,” said GPO Director Hugh Nathanial Halpern. “GPO’s mission of Keeping America Informed has been constant through wars, economic busts and booms, national tragedies and celebrations, and yes, even through today’s global pandemic. GPO’s willingness to adapt the latest technologies of the last 160 years is one of the reasons for its relevance today. But the single most important factor in GPO’s resilience has been its people.”

GPO is celebrating the milestone with a 160th birthday campaign that highlights agency history, GPO retirees, and several GPO families, some of whom have served the agency for multiple generations. GPO will share the stories of the people who helped GPO reach this milestone, their memories of the agency, and historic moments on and its social media channels.

GPO is the Federal Government’s official, digital, secure resource for producing, procuring, cataloging, indexing, authenticating, disseminating, and preserving the official information products of the U.S. Government. The GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the Federal Government, including U.S. passports for the Department of State as well as the official publications of Congress, the White House, and other Federal agencies in digital and print formats. GPO provides for permanent public access to Federal Government information at no charge through and partnerships with approximately 1,100 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program. For more information, please visit

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