CertMag wishes you well on Memorial Day (U.S.)
Posted on
May 31, 2021
John Logan is a key figure in the history of Memorial Day in the United States.

Today is Memorial Day here in the United States. It's a federal holiday, so the Certification Magazine home office is closed until Tuesday. Memorial Day honors the American citizens, both men and women, who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is spiritually akin to Veteran's Day (Nov. 11), which honors all Armed Forces members, including those who did not die while serving.

We'll return to our regular schedule of operations tomorrow. Until then, why not enjoy this Memorial Day-themed quiz? This year's quiz commemorates John A. Logan, a U.S. military leader and politician whose advocacy was perhaps the largest contributing factor to the establishment of a national Memorial Day holiday. Logan himself ended up being widely commemorated both by place names and official monuments.

1) Which two wars did John Logan participate in?

2) What was the nickname given to John Logan by the soldiers under his command?

3) How many total years did John Logan represent the state of Illinois as a member Congress?

4) His membership in which military societies gave John Logan a high profile platform from which to advocate for the creation of a holiday to honor U.S. soldiers who died in battle?

5) What year did John Logan issue a proclamation calling for a national observance of Memorial Day in the United States?

6) What long-serving politician did Logan formally support by becoming his running mate and vice presidential nominee during the 1884 U.S. presidential election?

7) Where are the two most prominent statues that commemorate John Logan's war service?

8) Where are the two elementary schools named after John Logan?

9) Where was the original function of the now-decommissioned Camp Logan near Zion, Ill.?

10) Which four U.S. states have counties named after John Logan?‍



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.

John Logan is a key figure in the history of Memorial Day in the United States.

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.


About the Author

Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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