Death of Pershing – July 15, 1948

07-15-1st State Funeral

—- 70 Years Ago Today —–
On July 15, 1948, General of the Armies John “Black Jack” Pershing died at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC. Pershing, a 1886 graduate of West Point, had a career that spanned the end of the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Mexican Border Expedition and ended with World War I. Following World War I, Pershing was named General of the Armies and considered for the Republican nomination for President in 1920. Pershing ended his Army career as Army Chief of Staff from 1921-1924.

After his retirement from active duty service, Pershing stayed active in matters that affected soldiers and veterans, creating and serving in many service related organizations. The State Funeral for General Pershing on July 19, 1948, was the first State Funeral conducted by the Old Guard. The Regiment reactivated three months earlier, taking over as the Army’s official ceremonial unit.

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