Since 1852, only 36 Americans, including 4 Unknown Soldiers, 4 private citizens, 12 U.S. Presidents, and 13 U.S. Senators, including now the 41st President of the United States George Herbert Walker Bush, and previously in 2018 @SenJohnMcCain, have lain in state or repose or honor at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, according to the Architect of the Capitol (listed below in reverse chronological order), via Newsweek.
William Howard Taft and Robert Taft, both of Cincinnati, Ohio, are the only father-and-son pair to have been so honored.
December 3-5, 2018
(via, VOA News) The flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush lays inside the Rotunda of the Capitol in Washington, Dec. 3, 2018.
“Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda starting Monday evening as Americans honor the life of the country’s 41st president.
The Capitol will be open for dignitaries and the public to pay their respects through early Wednesday, with visitors allowed to walk past Bush’s casket. He died in Texas, his home state, late Friday at the age of 94 after several years of failing health.
- Rep. Liz Cheney: “Treasure Forever’ Bush Letter about Her Father
- Jewish Leaders: Bush 41 a ‘Righteous Gentile’ Who Saved Thousands
- Colin Powell: 41 Was ‘Cautious’ but Never ‘Timid’ Leader
- Dan Quayle: Bush 41 Was Tough, Caring Leader
- Doug Wead: He Will Be Ranked Among America’s Greatest Presidents
- Dick Cheney: Bush 41 Had ‘Amazing Ability for Personal Touch’
- Bush Was Political Patriarch to Enduring American Dynasty
- Bush’s Service Dog Lies by Flag-Draped Casket
- Baker: 41’s Tenure ‘One of The Most Successful’
- 3 Ex-Presidents Pay Tribute to Bush 41 on ’60 Minutes’
- Queen Elizabeth II Mourns Loss of ‘Great Friend, Ally’
- Full Obituary: George H.W. Bush 1924-2018
- George H.W. Bush receives final sendoff at Houston church where he worshipped for 50 years
(Photo Credit: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)
35. John S. McCain
August 26-27, 2018, and on August 31, 2018
“My fellow Americans, whom I’ve gratefully served for 60 years, and especially my fellow Arizonans, thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead.”
America is “the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil.”
“I‘ve tried to serve our country honorably. I’ve made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.”
“We all love our country, we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do.”
“Do not despair of our present difficulties, but believe always in the promise and greatness of America,” McCain wrote before his death Saturday. Share these last words of @SenJohnMcCain as he died Saturday, August 25, 2018.
@SenJohnMcCain, 81, is buried Sunday, September 2, 2018, @USNavy @NavalAcademy in Annapolis, Maryland, after he lies in state at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix on Wednesday, August 29, 2018, and the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Sunday-Monday, August 26-27, and on Friday, August 31, 2018, before his final funeral service Saturday, September 1, 2018 at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.
Chief of Staff John Kelly, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and National Security Advisor John Bolton along with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump will represent the @WhiteHouse at McCain’s National Cathedral funeral service in Washington, DC.
(National Cathedral Funeral Procession of Senator John McCain on Saturday, September 1, 2018)
As reported in the Washington Post, ““I’ve made more mistakes than most anybody you will ever know,” McCain said in the interview, conducted for the 2017 Naval History Conference. “But one thing has guided me, is what I learned the first day I walked through the main gate at the Naval Academy. And that was do the right thing, and do it honorably, and you can never go wrong.”
It is Annapolis that McCain has returned to, again and again, in life and in death.
McCain’s father and grandfather are buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
But Admiral Charles “Chuck” Larson, a longtime friend and classmate, is buried at the academy in Maryland.”
(Pallbearers carried Mr. McCain’s coffin into the Arizona State Capitol on Wednesday. Credit Caitlin O’Hara for The New York Times)
“Larson reserved four plots before he died in 2014 — two for himself and McCain, and their wives.
McCain’s plot is near where the two men first met, “back where it began,” he wrote in his recent book “The Restless Wave,” when he revealed Annapolis will be his final resting place.
“I will go to my grave in gratitude to my Creator for allowing me to stand witness to such courage and honor. And so will you,” McCain said. “My time is slipping by. Yours is fast approaching. You will know where your duty lies.””
34. Billy Graham
February 28–March 1, 2018; One of only 4 private American citizens to Lay in Honor
“Minister, evangelist and adviser to presidents. Died February 21, 2018, in Montreat, North Carolina.
Authority for use of the Rotunda granted by House Concurrent Resolution 107, 115th Congress, 2nd Session; agreed to February 26, 2018.”
According to TIME, “the practice of U.S. elected officials and military leaders lying in state at the Capitol began with Senator Henry Clay in 1852, and since then more than two dozen people — including 11 Presidents — have received that posthumous send-off in the Rotunda. Many of those services, including those for Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and Warren Burger, have used the same wooden framework constructed to prop up Abraham Lincoln’s coffin in 1865. But Graham is only the fourth private citizen to “lie in honor,” rather than “lie in state,” in recognition of his contributions to the nation.”
33. Daniel K. Inouye
December 20, 2012
“Senator Inouye was the first congressman to represent Hawaii when it became a state in 1959. He served in the U.S. Senate from 1963 until his death, on December 17, 2012.
Inouye was the second-longest-serving senator in history and served as president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate. He was a World War II hero and given a Medal of Honor for his service.”
32. Gerald R. Ford Jr.
December 30, 2006–January 2, 2007
“Ford was a member of the House of Representatives from Michigan, January 3, 1949 to December 6, 1973, when he resigned to become vice president.
He was vice president of the United States from December 6, 1973 to August 9, 1974, when President Richard M. Nixon resigned. Ford served as president of the United States from August 9, 1974 to January 20, 1977.
President Gerald R. Ford Jr. died December 26, 2006, in Rancho Mirage, California, after adjournment of the 109th Congress, 2nd session. Authority for use of the Capitol Rotunda was granted by the speaker of the House of Representatives and the majority leader of the Senate. No resolution.”
31. Rosa Parks
October 30 and 31, 2005; One of only 4 private American citizens to Lay in Honor.
“Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks died October 24, 2005, in Detroit. Authority for use of the Rotunda granted by Senate Concurrent Resolution 61, 109th Congress, 1st Session; agreed to October 29, 2005.”
30. Ronald Wilson Reagan
June 9–11, 2004.
“Reagan was governor of California from 1967 to 1975 and president of the United States from January 20, 1981 to January 20, 1989.
He died June 5, 2004, in Bel-Air, California. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by Senate Concurrent Resolution 115, 108th Congress, 2nd Session; agreed to June 9, 2004.”
29. Jacob Joseph Chestnut
28. John Michael Gibson
July 28, 1998; Two of Only 4 private American citizens to Lay in Honor
“Chestnut and Gibson were United States Capitol police officers killed at the U.S. Capitol in the line of duty on July 24, 1998. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by House Concurrent Resolution 310, 105th Congress, 2nd Session; agreed to July 27, 1998. Officer Chestnut and Detective Gibson were the first whose remains lay in honor in the Rotunda.”
27. Claude Denson Pepper
June 1 and 2, 1989
“Pepper served as U.S. Senator from Florida November 4, 1936 to January 3, 1951. He was a member of the House of Representatives from Florida from January 3, 1963, until his death, on May 30, 1989, in Washington, D.C. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by House Concurrent Resolution 139, 101st Congress, 1st Session; agreed to May 31, 1989.”
26. Unknown Soldier of the Vietnam War
May 25–28, 1984
“Chosen to honor the unknown Americans who lost their lives while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States in Southeast Asia from 1959–1972. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by House Concurrent Resolution 296, 98th Congress, 2nd Session; agreed to May 17, 1984.”
25. Hubert H. Humphrey
January 14-15, 1978
“Humphrey served as U.S. senator from Minnesota from January 3, 1949 to December 29, 1964, when he resigned to become vice president. He was vice president of the United States from January 20, 1965 to January 20, 1969. Humphrey then returned to the Senate from November 3, 1970, until his death. He died January 14, 1978, in Waverly, Minnesota, after adjournment of the 95th Congress, 1st Session. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by the speaker of the House of Representatives and the majority leader of the Senate. No resolution.”
24. Lyndon Baines Johnson
January 24 and 25, 1973
“Johnson was a member of the House of Representatives from Texas from April 10, 1937 to January 3, 1949. He was a U.S. Senator from Texas from January 3, 1949 to January 3, 1961, when he resigned, having been elected vice president of the United States. Johnson served as vice president from January 20, 1961, to November 22, 1963, when he assumed the presidency. He served as president until January 20, 1969.
Johnson died on January 22, 1973, near Johnson City, Texas. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by House Concurrent Resolution 90, 93rd Congress, 1st Session; agreed to January 23, 1973.”
23. J. Edgar Hoover
May 3 and 4, 1972
“Hoover was the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, serving from 1924 until his death. He died on May 2, 1972, in Washington, D.C.
According to the New York Times, “Acting Attorney General Rich ard G. Kleindienst announced the death at 11 A.M., after F.B.I. offices around the world had been given the news and reports of it began to circulate here. Congress promptly voted its permission for his body to lie in state in the Capitol Ro tunda—an honor accorded to only 21 persons before, (23 persons before, when we now include below, 17. Unknown Soldier of World War II, and 16. Unknown Soldier of the Korean War, May 28–30, 1958) of whom eight were Presidents or former Presidents.”
Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by House Concurrent Resolution 600, 92nd Congress, 2nd Session; agreed to May 2, 1972.”
22. Everett McKinley Dirksen
September 9 and 10, 1969
“Dirksen was a member of the House of Representatives from Illinois from March 4, 1933 to January 3, 1949. He was a U.S. senator from Illinois, January 3, 1951, until his death, September 7, 1969, in Washington, D.C. (He suffered a cardiopulmonary arrest and died, at age 73. Dirksen was buried at Glendale Memorial Gardens in Pekin). Senate Resolution 254, 91st Congress, 1st Session, agreed to September 8, 1969; extended invitations to memorial service in the Rotunda, September 9, 1969.”
(President Richard Nixon paid his last respects and tributes to Sen. Dirksen in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda below in 1969. In 1972, one of the Senate’s buildings was renamed the Dirksen Senate Office Building in his honor.)
21. Dwight D. Eisenhower
March 30 and 31, 1969
“Eisenhower graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1915, was promoted to general of the army in 1944, and was named president of Columbia University in 1948. He served as president of the United States from January 20, 1953, to January 20, 1961.
Eisenhower died March 28, 1969, in Washington, D.C., during the 91st Congress, 1st Session. No resolution. (Richard Nixon pays tribute to IKE in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda above in 1969).
20. Herbert Clark Hoover
October 23–25, 1964
“Hoover served as secretary of commerce for presidents Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge. He was food administrator under President Woodrow Wilson. Hoover also served as chairman of the Ccommission on the organization of executive branch of government from 1947 to 1949 and from 1953 to 1955.
He was president of the United States from March 4, 1929, to March 3, 1933. Hoover died October 20, 1964, in New York City, after adjournment of the 88th Congress, 2nd Session. No resolution.”
19. Douglas MacArthur
April 8 and 9, 1964
“MacArthur was superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from 1919–1922; appointed chief of staff of the Army on November 21, 1930; and appointed general of the Army on December 18, 1944. From July 26, 1941, through April 11, 1951, he served in the Pacific and Far East in various allied commands. MacArthur died April 5, 1964, in Washington, D.C. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by Senate Concurrent Resolution 74, 88th Congress, 2nd Session; agreed to April 6, 1964.”
18. John F. Kennedy
November 24 and 25, 1963
“Kennedy was a member of the House of Representatives from Massachusetts, January 3, 1947 to January 3, 1953. U.S. Senator from Massachusetts January 3, 1953, to December 22, 1960, when he resigned to become president.
Was president of the United States from January 20, 1961, until his death. Assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963, during the 88th Congress, 1st Session. No resolution.”
17. Unknown Soldier of World War II
16. Unknown Soldier of the Korean War
May 28–30, 1958
“Chosen to honor and perpetuate the memory of the heroes who gave their lives while serving overseas in the Armed Forces of the United States during World War II and the Korean War, and whose identities were unknown. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by House Concurrent Resolution 242, 85th Congress, 2nd Session; agreed to March 6, 1958.”
15. Robert A. Taft
August 2 and 3, 1953
“Taft served as U.S. Senator from Ohio from January 3, 1939, until his death. He died July 31, 1953, in New York City, during 83rd Congress, 1st Session, Senate Resolution 158, 83rd Congress, 1st Session; agreed to August 1, 1953, extended invitation to the memorial service in the Rotunda August 3, 1953.”
“In 1957, a committee led by Senator John F. Kennedy selected Taft as one of five of the greatest Senators, whose portraits would adorn the President’s Room off the Senate floor. Taft continues to be regarded by historians as one of the most powerful U.S. Senators of the twentieth century.
Robert Alphonso Taft was born on September 8, 1889. He was the oldest child of U.S. President William Howard Taft and his wife Helen Louise “Nellie” Herron and the grandson of Attorney General and Secretary of War Alphonso Taft. As a child he spent four years in the Philippines, where his father was governor. As an adolescent he was a brilliant academic. He finished first in his class at the Taft School in Cincinnati (run by his uncle), at Yale College and at Harvard Law School, graduating in 1913. He edited the Harvard Law Review. Following his graduation, Taft scored the highest mark in the state on the Ohio bar exam in 1913. He practiced law for four years with the firm of Maxwell and Ramsey (now Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP) in Cincinnati. He then worked in Washington for the Food and Drug Administration, before returning to Cincinnati to start his own law office. In 1924, he and his brother Charles helped form the law partnership Taft, Stettinius, and Hollister, with whom he continued to be associated until his death. The firm continues to carry his name today.
He was strongly criticized both by Republicans and Democrats for this. Senator John F. Kennedy in his bestselling book “Profiles in Courage,” applauded Taft’s principled stand even in the face of great bipartisan criticism.
When the Republicans took control of Congress in 1947, Taft became Chair of the Senate Labor Committee. He wrote the 1947 Taft–Hartley Act, which remains the basic labor law today. It banned “unfair” union practices, outlaws closed shops, and authorized the President to seek federal court injunctions to impose an eighty-day cooling-off period if a strike threatened the national interest. When President Harry Truman vetoed it, Taft convinced both houses of Congress to override the veto.
Taft was non-interventionist who did not see Stalin’s Soviet Union as a major threat. He saw the real dangers as big government and runaway spending. He opposed NATO and he took the lead among Republicans in condemning President Harry Truman’s handling of the Korean War. Taft questioned the constitutionality of the war itself. He said:
“In the case of Korea, where a war was already under way, we had no right to send troops to a nation, with whom we had no treaty, to defend it against attack by another nation, no matter how unprincipled that aggression might be, unless the whole matter was submitted to Congress and a declaration of war or some other direct authority obtained.” “
14. John Joseph Pershing
July 18 and 19, 1948
“Pershing was general of the Armies of the United States. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1886 and devoted his entire life to military service.
He served as chief of staff of the Army 1921–1924; commander of American expeditionary forces, World War I; distinguished service during the Philippine insurrection and Spanish-American War.
Pershing died July 15, 1948, in Washington, D.C., during recess of the 80th Congress, 2nd Session. No resolution.”
13. William Howard Taft
March 11, 1930
“Taft served as president of United States from March 4, 1909, to March 4, 1913. He was chief justice of the United States Supreme Court from July 11, 1921, to February 3, 1930.
Taft died on March 8, 1930, in Washington, D.C., during 71st Congress, 2nd Session. No resolution.”
The Tafts had four sons: William Howard Taft III (1915–1991), a future Ambassador to Ireland; Robert Alphonso Taft, Jr. (1917–1993), a future U.S. Senator (shown on the right above next to U.S. President and U.S. Chief Justice William Howard Taft); Lloyd Bowers Taft (1923–1985), an investment banker in Cincinnati, and Horace Dwight Taft (1925–1983), a professor of physics and dean at Yale. Two of Robert Taft’s grandsons are Robert Alphonso “Bob” Taft III (born 1942), Governor of Ohio from 1999 to 2007, and William Howard Taft IV (born 1945), Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1984 to 1989.
12. Warren G. Harding
August 8, 1923
“Harding served as U.S. senator from Ohio, March 4, 1915, to January 13, 1921, when he resigned, having been elected president. He was president of United States from March 4, 1921, until his death.
Harding died August 2, 1923, in San Francisco, after adjournment of the 67th Congress, 4th Session. No resolution.”
11. Unknown Soldier of World War I
November 9–11, 1921
(General John Joseph Pershing stands and salutes in front to the casket of the Unknown Soldier of World War I in 1921 inside the U.S. Capitol Rotunda)
“Chosen to honor and perpetuate the memory of the heroes who gave their lives in World War I, the body was that of an unknown American who served as a member of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe. Congress was in session, 67th Congress, 1st Session. No resolution.”
10. George Dewey
January 20, 1917
“Dewey was admiral of the Navy and was a hero of Manila Bay in the Spanish-American War. He died January 16, 1917, in Washington, D.C. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by House Concurrent Resolution 68, 64th Congress, 2nd Session; agreed to January 18, 1917.”
George Dewey (December 26, 1837 – January 16, 1917) was an admiral of the United States Navy. “He is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War. He is also the only person in the history of the United States to have (first) attained the rank of Admiral of the Navy, the most senior rank in the United States Navy.”
“By act of Congress he was promoted to the special rank of Admiral of the Navy in 1903 with his date of rank retroactive to 1899. A special military decoration, the Battle of Manila Bay Medal (commonly called the Dewey Medal), was struck in honor of Dewey’s victory at Manila Bay. It was awarded to every American officer, Sailor and Marine present at the battle. The medals were designed by Daniel Chester French, sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial, and produced by Tiffany & Co. Each medal was engraved with the recipient’s name, rank and ship. Since his own image appeared on the obverse of the medal, out of modesty, Dewey wore his medal reversed. Dewey was one of only four Americans in history (the other three being Admiral William T. Sampson, Admiral Richard E. Byrd and General John J. Pershing) who were entitled to wear a US Government issued medal with their own image on it.”
9. Pierre Charles L’Enfant
(Re-interment) April 28, 1909
“L’Enfant was the planner of the city of Washington, D.C. He died June 14, 1825, and was buried on Digges Farm in Prince George’s County, Maryland. His remains were brought to the U.S. Capitol on April 28, 1909, to be reinterred at Arlington National Cemetery. Senate Concurrent Resolution 2, 61st Congress, 1st Session granted use of the Rotunda; agreed to March 26, 1909.”
8. William McKinley, Jr.
September 17, 1901
“McKinley was a member of House of Representatives from Ohio, March 4, 1877, to May 27, 1884, and again from March 4, 1885, to March 3, 1891. He served as governor of Ohio from 1892 to 1896 and as President of United States, March 4, 1897, until his death.
McKinley was assassinated September 6, 1901, in Buffalo, New York, and died there September 14, 1901, after adjournment of the 56th Congress, 2nd Session. No resolution.”
7. John A. Logan
December 30-31, 1886
“Logan was a member of House of Representatives from Illinois, March 4, 1859, to April 2, 1862, when he resigned to enter the Union Army, and again from March 4, 1867, until March 3, 1871. He served as U.S. Senator from Illinois, March 4, 1871, to March 3, 1877, and again from March 4, 1879, to December 26, 1886.
“After the Civil war, Logan, who had always been a staunch partisan, was identified with the radical wing of the Republican Party. His forceful, passionate speaking, popular on the platform, was less effective in the halls of legislation. In 1868, he was one of the managers in the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson.”
(Below is a site of American Civil War by Illinoisans, including Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and John A. Logan).
“Logan died on December 26, 1886, in Washington, D.C., during the 49th Congress, 2nd Session. No resolution.”
John A. Logan’s funeral was at Hutchinson’s vault.
“Logan’s final resting place at the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery is a granite, Norman-style mausoleum, design by the former supervising architect of the U.S. Treasury Department, Alfred B. Mullett, which houses the remains of General John A. Logan; his wife, Mary S. Logan; daughter, Mary Logan Tucker; and grandsons, Captain Logan Tucker and George E. Tucker.”
6. James A. Garfield
September 21–23, 1881
“Garfield was a member of House of Representatives from Ohio from March 4, 1863, to November 8, 1880, when he resigned, having been elected president. He served as President of the United States from March 4, 1881, until his death.
Garfield was assassinated July 2, 1881, in Washington, D.C., and died September 19, 1881, in Elberon, New Jersey, after adjournment of 46th Congress, 3rd Session. No resolution.”
(White House draped in mourning for President James A. Garfield, September 1881).
5. Henry Wilson
November 25 and 26, 1875
“Wilson served as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts from January 31, 1855, to March 3, 1873, when he resigned to become vice president of the United States. He was vice president from March 4, 1873, until his death, on November 22, 1875.
Wilson died in the vice president’s room in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., after adjournment of the 43rd Congress, 2nd Session. No resolution.”
4. Charles Sumner
March 13, 1874
“Sumner served as U.S. Senator from Massachusetts deom April 24, 1851, until his death, March 11, 1874. He died in Washington, D.C., during the 43rd Congress. No resolution.”
As reported in the Anchorage Daily News, by Steve Haycox, professor emeritus of history at the University of Alaska Anchorage, “When he died of a heart attack on March 11, 1874, 143 years ago this month (on March 23, 2017), Charles Sumner, the Massachusetts senator who had shepherded the Alaska Purchase Treaty through Senate ratification, lay in state in the Capitol rotunda, only the second senator to be so honored (the first being Henry Clay).
That was not because of his critical, but often overlooked, role in facilitating the Alaska purchase. It was rather a tribute to his long and fiery career as an uncompromising champion of abolition, and full civil and property rights for former slaves.”
3. Thaddeus Stevens
August 13–14, 1868
“Stevens was a member of the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, March 4, 1849, to March 3, 1853, and again from March 4, 1859, until his death on August 11, 1868.
He died in Washington, D.C., during recess of the 40th Congress, 2nd Session, and lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda. No resolution.”
2. Abraham Lincoln
April 19–21, 1865
“Lincoln was a member of the House of Representatives from Illinois, March 4, 1847, to March 3, 1849. He was president of the United States from March 4, 1861, until his death.
Lincoln was assassinated April 14, 1865, in Washington, D.C., and died there April 15, 1865, after adjournment of the 38th Congress, 2nd Session.
The historic catafalque was constructed to support Lincoln’s casket during his lying in state. No resolution.”
1. Henry Clay
July 1, 1852
“Henry Clay was a member of the House of Representatives for five non-consecutive terms (1811–1825). He served as speaker of the House in 1811–1814, 1815–1820 and 1823–1825. He was secretary of state from 1825 to 1829. Clay also served as U.S. senator from Kentucky intermittently for 18 years between 1806 and 1852. He died June 29, 1852, in Washington, D.C., during the 32nd Congress, 1st Session, becoming the first person honored by a funeral ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda. No resolution.”
Examples of this would include President Gerald Ford or Senator Daniel Inouye lying in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, or Congressman Paul Gillmor lying in state in the Ohio State Capitol.
Lying in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol is authorized by Joint Resolution of Congress.
A guard of honor maintains a vigil over the remains throughout the period of time the remains lie in state. Public viewing is generally allowed during the lying in state.
Lying in Repose
Lying in repose occurs when the casket of a member of government (or former member of government) is placed on view in any other building to allow the public to pay their respects.
Examples would include President Reagan at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California in 2004, President Gerald Ford at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, California in 2006, and Senator John McCain at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix, Arizona in 2018.
- 1974 – Chief Justice Earl Warren
- 1993 – Justice Thurgood Marshall
- 1995 – Chief Justice Warren E. Burger
- 1997 – Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.
- 1999 – Justice Harry A. Blackmun
- 2005 – Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, the first so-honored to have died in office.
- 2016 – Justice Antonin Scalia, died in office.”
2. When the casket of a member of government (or former member of government) is placed on view in the U.S. Capitol, but not in the Capitol Rotunda, to allow the public to pay their respects. Examples include Senator Robert Byrd and Senator Frank Lautenberg lying in honor in the Senate Chamber.”
- 1998 – United States Capitol Police Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson, killed on duty
- 2005 – Rosa Parks, civil rights activist
- 2018 – Billy Graham, Christian evangelist
In 1998, Chestnut and Gibson were killed while defending the Capitol against a shooter. Congress approved their remains to lie in honor in the Rotunda. Chestnut was the first African American to lie in honor. In 2005, upon the death of civil rights activist Rosa Parks, Congress authorized her remains to lie in honor at the Rotunda; Parks was the second African American and the first woman to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda. Graham was the first religious leader to be honored in this way.”
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