Home » 1980s, Masonic, Military, U.S. History » World War I Commemorative 22-cent Stamp: Gen. Blackjack Pershing Masonic First Day Cover #2154

World War I Commemorative 22-cent Stamp: Gen. Blackjack Pershing Masonic First Day Cover #2154

1985 22-cent World War I stamp with Masonic First Day Cover featuring General Blackjack Pershing and Edsel cachet

Scott #2154 Masonic First Day Cover; Edsel cachet

Gen. John ‘Blackjack’ Pershing: Mason and ‘General of the Armies’

General John Pershing (1860-1948) attained the highest rank possible in the U.S. Army , being appointed to ‘General of the Armies’ after Congress created this honor specifically for him in 1919. It was only in 1976 that George Washington, also a Mason, was elevated to the same rank but with higher seniority and with assurance that he would never be outranked. This edict was  signed by President Gerald Ford–another Mason.

Having graduated from West Point in 1886, Pershing quickly established himself as a military leader and moved up the ranks. He attained the rank of General in 1917. The numerous campaigns he led include the Indian Wars (Apache and Sioux), Spanish-American War, Philippine-American War, Russo-Japanese War, Mexican Revolt, and World War I where he commanded the Western Front.

Becoming ‘Blackjack’

Pershing served as an instructor at West Point beginning in 1897. He was somewhat unpopular with the students due to his strict and rigid approach. They referred to him by a number of derogatory terms, which evolved to ‘Blackjack’ from his service as 1st Lieutenant with the 10th Calvary Regiment during the Spanish-American War–otherwise known as the Buffalo Soldiers.

Masonic History

Pershing became a Mason in 1888 in Lincoln Lodge No. 19, in Lincoln Nebraska. He also later became a honory member of both the Grand Lodge of Missouri and of Stansbury Lodge No. 24 in Washington, DC.

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