70 Years Ago – Black Jack foaled – January 19, 1947
“Black Jack” was the last of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps issued horses, and the last to be branded with the Army’s “US” (left shoulder) and his serial number “2V56” (left side of his neck). “Black Jack” became well known as the caparisoned horse during the State Funeral for President John F. Kennedy, with reversed boots symbolizing a fallen warrior or leader.
He was foaled January 19, 1947, at Fort Reno, OK. and came to Fort Myer on November 22, 1952. He was named after General of the Armies General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing. He not only took part in President Kennedy’s funeral, but those of Herbert Hoover, Douglas MacArthur, Lyndon Johnson and thousands more in Arlington National Cemetery.
“Black Jack” ended his military career on June 1, 1973, after which he grazed and exercised at the Fort Myer stables. “Black Jack” died on February 6, 1976, at Fort Myer. He is buried at the corner of Summerall Field, the post parade ground, near the post headquarters.
On this day in 1961, the Inauguration for President John F. Kennedy was held. Following the swearing-in ceremony, the parade kicked off with the Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps taking part in its first inaugural parade, a streak that is still alive. See more photos from the 1961 Inaugural ceremony here: www.flickr.com/phot…/oldguardmuseum/albums/72157625868396512