The Pony Express made its first run. The distance between St. Joseph MO and Sacramento CA was divided into 75-100 mile runs that a lone rider would cover, changing his horse every 10-15 miles. At the end of the 100 mile run, he’d wait for a rider from the other direction to take mail back. Speed was paramount. Ads for riders were: "Young, skinny, wiry fellows, not over 18. Must be expert riders. Willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred." The most famous rider, of course, was Buffalo Bill Cody, who was hired at the age of 15.