JFK Funeral - Black Jack (by russwxyz, formerly russ2243)
Once again, it’s historical horse time! Black Jack, pictured above, is one of two horses in American history buried with full military honors.* Black Jack, foaled on January 19th, 1947, was named after General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing. Black Jack was, as they say, a “spirited” horse; he refused to be ridden, wouldn’t pull carriages, and disliked parades. Despite his unsuitability for most tasks, Black Jack was considered too handsome to sell, and in 1952 he was assigned to the Caisson Platoon of the 3rd U.S. Infantry as a Caparisoned, or riderless, horse in military funerals. In his 29-year career as a ceremonial horse, Black Jack participated in over 1,000 military funerals, and is the only military horse to have the distinction of serving in four state funerals: that of Douglas MacArthur, Herbert Hoover, Lyndon B. Johnson, and John F. Kennedy (pictured above).
Though he grew used to funerals, Black Jack never fully mellowed. He was picky about who he would accept to lead him, maintained a lifelong dislike of loud noises, and never grew used to the cannon salute in funerals. Nevertheless, he was good with children, and loved butter pecan cake. Somebody should really write a song about him.
*The other was Comanche, survivor of Little Bighorn and the brave horse of song. On a related note, my interest in historical horses is 100% rooted in a childhood obsession with that song & with Stewball, not, as one might assume, because I have any inclination towards riding or owning a horse.
References: horseandman, the chronicle of the horse, and wikipedia.