Birth of John J. Pershing
John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing was born on September 13, 1860, in Laclede, Missouri.
One of six children, Pershing grew up during the Civil War, during which his father was a civilian merchant for the 18th Missouri Volunteer Infantry. After completing high school in 1878, Pershing taught local African American children for a time before attending the State Normal School. He graduated in 1880 with a degree in scientific didactics.