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Lying in State

Lying in State

Lying in State of President Gerald Ford

The Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol has been considered the most suitable place for the nation to pay final tribute to its most eminent citizens by having their remains lay in state or in honor, those who have been honored are listed below.

These occasions are either authorized by a congressional resolution or approved by the congressional leadership, when permission is granted by survivors.

Since 1865, most services have used the catafalque constructed for the coffin of Abraham Lincoln. In the case of the Unknowns of World War II and the Korean War, an additional catafalque was built with the coffin of each at some point resting on the Lincoln catafalque. (The Lincoln catafalque was not used for the two Capitol Police officers in 1998.)
 
The Lincoln catafalque, which is a bier constructed of pine boards covered with fabric, was also used in 1873 in the Senate chamber for the services of Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase and in 1875 in the House chamber for Congressman Samuel Hooper. It was used in 1993 for Thurgood Marshall and in 1995 for Warren Burger, both at the Supreme Court; in 1996 it was used for Ron Brown, at the Commerce Department.
 

Henry Clay
July 1, 1852

Henry Clay was a member of the House of Representatives for five non- consecutive terms (1811-25). He served as Speaker of the House in 1811-14, 1815-20 and 1823- 25. 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.

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 laying in state. No resolution.

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.

Charles Sumner
March 13, 1874

Sumner served as U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, April 24, 1851, until his death, March 11, 1874. He died in Washington, D.C., during the 43rd Congress. No resolution.

Henry Wilson
November 25-26, 1875

Wilson served as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, 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.

James A. Garfield
September 21-23, 1881

Garfield was a member of House of Representatives from Ohio, 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.

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. Logan died on December 26, 1886, in Washington, D.C., during the 49th Congress, 2nd Session. No resolution.

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.

Pierre Charles L'Enfant
(re-interment) April 28, 1909

L’Enfant was the planner of the city of Washington, D.C. He died June 4, 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 re-interred at Arlington National Cemetery. Senate Concurrent Resolution 2, 61st Congress, 1st Session granted use of the Rotunda, agreed to March 26, 1909.

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.

Unknown Soldier of World War I
November 9-11, 1921

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.

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 March 4, 1921, until his death. Harding died August 2, 1923, in San Francisco, California, after adjournment of the 67th Congress, 4th Session. No resolution.

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 from July 11, 1921 to February 3, 1930. Harding died on March 8, 1930, in Washington, D.C., during 71st Congress, 2nd Session. No resolution.

John Joseph Pershing
July 18-19, 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 1921-24; 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.

Robert A. Taft
August 2-3, 1953

Taft served as U.S. Senator from Ohio, 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.

Unknown Soldiers of World War II and 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.

John F. Kennedy
November 24-25, 1963

Kennedy was a member of the House of Representatives from Massachusetts from January 3, 1947 to December 3, 1953. He served as U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, January 3, 1953 to December 22, 1960, when he resigned to become President. Kennedy was President of the United States from January 20, 1961 until his death. He was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, during the 88th Congress, 1st Session. No resolution.

Douglas MacArthur
April 8-9, 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 was 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.

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 Commission on the Organization of Executive Branch of Government in 1947-1949 and 1953-1955. 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.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
March 30-31, 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.

Everett McKinley Dirksen
September 9-10, 1969

Member of the House of Representatives from Illinois, March 4, 1933 to January 3, 1949. U.S. Senator from Illinois, January 3, 1951, until his death. Died September 7, 1969, in Washington, D.C. Senate Resolution 254, 91st Congress, 1st Session, agreed to September 8, 1969, extended invitations to memorial service in the Rotunda, September 9, 1969.

J. Edgar Hoover
May 3-4, 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. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by House Concurrent Resolution 600, 92nd Congress, 2nd Session, agreed to May 2, 1972.

Lyndon Baines Johnson
January 24-25, 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.

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 on 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.

Unknown Soldier of the Vietnam Conflict
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 during 1959-1972. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by House Concurrent Resolution 296, 98th Congress, 2nd Session, agreed to May 17, 1984.

Claude Denson Pepper
June 1-2, 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.

Jacob Joseph Chestnut and John Michael Gibson
July 28, 1998, 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, 2d Session, agreed to July 27, 1998. Officer Chestnut and Detective Gibson were the first persons whose remains lay in honor in the Rotunda.

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.

Rosa Parks
October 30-31, 2005, lay in honor

Parks is best known as a civil rights pioneer. She died on October 24, 2005, in Detroit, Michigan. Authority for use of the Rotunda granted by Senate Concurrent Resolution 61, 109th Congress, 1st Session, agreed to October 29, 2005.

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. He died December 26, 2006, in Rancho Mirage, California, after adjournment of the 109th Congress, 2d session. Authority for use of the Rotunda granted by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Majority Leader of the Senate. No resolution.

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, given then Medal of Honor for his service.