John Alexander Logan ("Black Jack" Logan) (1826 – 1886) was an American General, and a prominent Democrat politician. He participate in the Mexican-American War and served in the Union Army in the American Civil War. He was Senator from Illinois and candidate for Vice President of the United States.
Logan's name is mentioned in the Illinois State Song.
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. 
The holiday was first observed on May 30, 1868, and Gen. Logan chose that date for two very important reasons: First, the day did not mark the anniversary of a Civil War battle, and second "flowers would likely be in bloom all over the United States." Indeed, many took flowers to Arlington National Cemetery, an activity that still occurs every year.