Long johns are a suit of long underwear meant to be worn for warmth under clothing. They are a one piece set that goes from neck to ankles. The most colorful and fun long johns are red and have a flap in the back that buttons closed for warmth and opens for less chilly visits to the outhouse.
Long johns were first introduced by boxer John Sullivan as a boxing outfit. John Sullivan died in 1918 and is buried in the Old Calvary Cemetary in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the world heavyweight champion from 1882 to 1892 and was the last bare-knuckle boxing champion. Sullivan is immortal in the world of boxing and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. He is widely considered America's first sports idol. He was known as the Boston Strong Boy for his exceptional strength. Sullivan was a colorful character and once offered to fight anyone in America for $500. Several of his matches were cancelled because he was too drunk to fight.
Sullivan almost lost the title of Bare-knuckle Champion in 1889, due to his alcohol abuse, but held on and retained it until losing it to a younger, faster opponent named James Corbett in 1892. After losing the match, John Sullivan entered the downward spiral of alcoholism and eventually sold his prize belt to buy booze. Still later, he defeated alcoholism and went on the be a sports writer for the New York Times.