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GoCertify Observes the Memorial Day (U.S.) Holiday



John A. Logan was a powerful advocate for the creation of a Memorial Day holiday.1) Logan served in 1st Illinois Infantry as a second lieutenant during the Mexican-American War. A member of the U.S. House of Representatives at the time of the outbreak of American Civil War, Logan participated in early fighting as an unattached volunteer. He eventually resigned his congressional seat, organized the 31st Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and joined the war on the side of the Union as a colonel. By the end of the war, he had become a general serving under William T. Sherman.


2) Logan was nicknamed "Black Jack" on account of the color of his hair, eyes, and somewhat swarthy complexion.


3) 19 years and 9 months. Logan was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for three years prior to the American Civil War (he resigned his seat in 1862 to join the Union Army) before serving an additional four years after the war. He served two non-consecutive terms in the U.S. Senate and was elected to a third, but died in office at age 60 in 1886, after completing just 21 months of his second term.


4) Logan's advocacy for "Decoration Day" (later named Memorial Day) was bolstered most by his high standing in Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization of veterans of the American Civil War. He also belonged to the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.


5) 1868. Logan was Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (the second person to act in that role) at the time of the proclamation on May 5, 1868.


6) James G. Blaine. Blaine (of Maine) had served 23 years in Congress (including as Speaker of the House) and been U.S. Secretary of State under James A. Garfield before making a bid the presidency. Blaine and Logan were defeated by Grover Cleveland and Thomas Hendricks.


7) The General John Logan Memorial statue, depicting Logan on horseback, is located in Chicago's Grant Park. The General John A. Logan Monument, also depicting Logan on horseback, is in Logan Circle in Washington, D.C.


8) General John A. Logan Elementary School is in Logan's hometown of Murphysboro, Ill. The similarly named John A. Logan Elementary School is in Washington, D.C. There is also a John A. Logan College, a community college, in Carterville, Ill.


9) Camp Logan began its existence a Union prisoner of war camp during the Civil War. It became a rifle range supervised by the Illinois National Guard in 1892 and served as an Army basic training center during World Wars I and II. The Illinois National Guard turned the camp and its remaining buildings over to the Illinois Department of Conservation in 1973. Today the site is part of Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park 


10) Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and North Dakota. There is a Logan County in Logan's lifelong home state of Illinois, but it was named in honor of Logan's father, physician Dr. John Logan, rather than after Logan himself. Logan is mentioned by name in the official state song of Illinois.