Lying in state

Lying in state

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Lying in state is a term used to describe the tradition in which a coffin
Coffin
A coffin is a funerary box used in the display and containment of dead people – either for burial or cremation.Contemporary North American English makes a distinction between "coffin", which is generally understood to denote a funerary box having six sides in plan view, and "casket", which...

 is placed on view to allow the public at large to pay their respects to the deceased. It traditionally takes place in the principal government building of a country or city. While the practice differs among countries, a viewing in a location that is not the principal government building is referred to as lying in repose
Lying in repose
Lying in repose is a term used to describe when a deceased person, often of some stature, is available for public viewing. "Lying in repose" is different from the formal honor of "lying in state", which is generally held at the principal government building of the country and often accompanied by...

.

Canada


In Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, official lying in state is a part of a state funeral
State funeral
A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honor heads of state or other important people of national significance. State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition...

, an honour generally reserved for former Governors General of Canada
Governor General of Canada
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...

 and former Prime Ministers of Canada
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

, and takes place in the Centre Block
Centre Block
The Centre Block is the main building of the Canadian parliamentary complex on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Ontario, containing the Commons and Senate chambers, as well as the offices of a number of Members of Parliament and Senators, as well as senior administration for both legislative houses...

 of Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill , colloquially known as The Hill, is an area of Crown land on the southern banks of the Ottawa River in downtown Ottawa, Ontario. Its Gothic revival suite of buildingsthe parliament buildings serves as the home of the Parliament of Canada and contains a number of architectural...

, in the country's capital, Ottawa
Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

. Ex-governors general lie in state in the Senate Chamber, while former prime ministers lie in the Hall of Honour. During the period of lying in state, the coffins are flanked at each corner by an Guard of Honour
Honor guard
An honor guard, or ceremonial guard, is a ceremonial unit, usually military in nature and composed of volunteers who are carefully screened for their physical ability and dexterity...

, made up of four members drawn from the Royal Canadian Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

, as well as members of the Governor General's Foot Guards
Governor General's Foot Guards
The Governor General's Foot Guards is one of three Household regiments in the Primary Reserve of the Canadian Army, along with The Governor General's Horse Guards and the Canadian Grenadier Guards. The GGFG is the most senior militia infantry regiment in Canada."Civitas et Princeps Cura Nostra" is...

 for former governors general, and guards from the parliamentary security forces for former prime ministers. As in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the guards stand at each corner with heads bowed and weapons inverted (resting on Arms reversed) with their backs turned towards the casket.

Provinces in Canada may also mount their own state funerals, and thus have a lying in state for a distinguished former resident. For instance, Maurice Richard
Maurice Richard
Joseph Henri Maurice "the Rocket" Richard, Sr., was a French-Canadian professional ice hockey player who played for the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League from 1942 to 1960. The "Rocket" was the most prolific goal-scorer of his era, the first to achieve the feat of 50 goals in 50...

 was given a state funeral by the province of Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

 when he died in 2000; his coffin lay in state at the Molson Centre
Bell Centre
The Bell Centre , formerly known as the Molson Centre , is a sports and entertainment complex in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It opened on March 16, 1996 after nearly three years under construction...

.

Russia


In Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, during the time of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 (1917–1991), the state funeral
State funeral
A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honor heads of state or other important people of national significance. State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition...

s of the most senior political and military leaders such as Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

, Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

, Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev  – 10 November 1982) was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union , presiding over the country from 1964 until his death in 1982. His eighteen-year term as General Secretary was second only to that of Joseph Stalin in...

, Yuri Andropov
Yuri Andropov
Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov was a Soviet politician and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 12 November 1982 until his death fifteen months later.-Early life:...

 and Konstantin Chernenko
Konstantin Chernenko
Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko was a Soviet politician and the fifth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He led the Soviet Union from 13 February 1984 until his death thirteen months later, on 10 March 1985...

 all followed the same basic outline. They took place in Moscow, began with a public lying in state of the deceased in the House of the Unions
House of the Unions
The House of the Unions or called "Palace of Unions" is the historical building in Moscow, Russia. It is situated on the corner of Bolshyaya Dmitrovka and Okhotny Ryad streets.-Origins:...

 and ended with an interment at the Red Square
Red Square
Red Square is a city square in Moscow, Russia. The square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod...

.

For the lying in state at the House of the Unions
House of the Unions
The House of the Unions or called "Palace of Unions" is the historical building in Moscow, Russia. It is situated on the corner of Bolshyaya Dmitrovka and Okhotny Ryad streets.-Origins:...

, The coffin would be placed on display in the Column Hall, which would be decorated by flowers, numerous red flag
Red flag
In politics, a red flag is a symbol of Socialism, or Communism, or sometimes left-wing politics in general. It has been associated with left-wing politics since the French Revolution. Socialists adopted the symbol during the Revolutions of 1848 and it became a symbol of communism as a result of its...

s and other communist symbols
Communist symbolism
Communist symbolism consists of a series of symbols that represent a variety of themes associated with communism. These themes may include revolution, the proletariat, the peasantry, agriculture, or international solidarity...

. The mourners, which usually would be brought in by the thousands, shuffled up a marble staircase beneath chandeliers draped in black gauze. On the stage at the left side of the Column Hall a full orchestra in black tailcoats would play classical music.
The deceased's embalmed body, dressed in a black suit, white shirt and a tie, would be displayed in an open coffin on a catafalque
Catafalque
A catafalque is a raised bier, soapbox, or similar platform, often movable, that is used to support the casket, coffin, or body of the deceased during a funeral or memorial service. Following a Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, a catafalque may be used to stand in place of the body at the Absolution of...

 banked with carnations, red roses and tulips, facing the long queue of mourners. A small guard of honour
Guard of honour
A guard of honour is a ceremonial event practice in military and sports as a mark of respect.-Military:In the military a guard of honour is a ceremonial practice to honour visiting foreign dignitaries, or the fallen in war, or a ceremony for public figures who have died.The commander is three paces...

 would be in attendance in the background. At the right side of the hall there would be placed seats for guests of honour, with the front row reserved for the dead leader's family.

On the day of the funeral, a military funeral parade would take place during which the coffin would be conveyed from the House of the Unions to the Red Square where burial would take place. Lenin and Stalin were placed inside the Lenin Mausoleum while Brezhnev, Andropov and Chernenko were interred in individual graves in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis
Kremlin Wall Necropolis
Burials in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis in Moscow began in November 1917, when 240 pro-Bolshevik victims of the October Revolution were buried in mass graves on Red Square. It is centered on both sides of Lenin's Mausoleum, initially built in wood in 1924 and rebuilt in granite in 1929–1930...

 along the Kremlin wall
Kremlin Wall
The Kremlin Wall is a defensive wall that surrounds the Moscow Kremlin, recognizable by the characteristic notches and its Kremlin towers. The original walls were likely a simple wooden fence with guard towers built in 1156.-History:...

.

United Kingdom


In state and ceremonial
State funeral
A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honor heads of state or other important people of national significance. State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition...

 funerals in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the lying-in-state takes place in Westminster Hall. The coffin is placed on a catafalque
Catafalque
A catafalque is a raised bier, soapbox, or similar platform, often movable, that is used to support the casket, coffin, or body of the deceased during a funeral or memorial service. Following a Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, a catafalque may be used to stand in place of the body at the Absolution of...

 and is guarded, around the clock, by detachments each of four men from the following units:
  • Sovereign's Bodyguard
    Sovereign's Bodyguard
    Sovereign's Bodyguard is the name given to three ceremonial units in the United Kingdom who are tasked with guarding the Sovereign. These units are:*Her Majesty's Bodyguard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms - formed 1509...

    • Her Majesty's Bodyguard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms
      Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms
      Her Majesty's Bodyguard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms is a bodyguard to the British Monarch. Until 17 March 1834 they were known as The Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners.-Formation:...

    • The Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard
      Yeomen of the Guard
      The Queen's Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard are a bodyguard of the British Monarch. The oldest British military corps still in existence, it was created by Henry VII in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth Field. As a token of this venerability, the Yeomen still wear red and gold uniforms of Tudor...

    • The Royal Company of Archers, The Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland
      Royal Company of Archers
      The Royal Company of Archers is a ceremonial unit that serves as the Sovereign's Bodyguard in Scotland, a role it has performed since 1822 and the reign of King George IV, when the company provided a personal bodyguard to the King on his visit to Scotland. It is currently known as the Queen's...


  • Household Cavalry
    Household Cavalry
    The term Household Cavalry is used across the Commonwealth to describe the cavalry of the Household Divisions, a country’s most elite or historically senior military groupings or those military groupings that provide functions associated directly with the Head of state.Canada's Governor General's...

    • The Life Guards
    • The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons)

  • Foot Guards
    Foot Guards
    -British Army:The Foot Guards are the Regular Infantry regiments of the Household Division of the British Army. There have been six regiments of foot guards, five of which still exist. The Royal Guards Reserve Regiment was a reserve formation of the Household Brigade in existence from 1900-1901...

    • Grenadier Guards
      Grenadier Guards
      The Grenadier Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to the Life Guards...

    • Coldstream Guards
      Coldstream Guards
      Her Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, also known officially as the Coldstream Guards , is a regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division or Household Division....

    • Scots Guards
      Scots Guards
      The Scots Guards is a regiment of the Guards Division of the British Army, whose origins lie in the personal bodyguard of King Charles I of England and Scotland...

    • Irish Guards
      Irish Guards
      The Irish Guards , part of the Guards Division, is a Foot Guards regiment of the British Army.Along with the Royal Irish Regiment, it is one of the two Irish regiments remaining in the British Army. The Irish Guards recruit in Northern Ireland and the Irish neighbourhoods of major British cities...

    • Welsh Guards
      Welsh Guards
      The Welsh Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division.-Creation :The Welsh Guards came into existence on 26 February 1915 by Royal Warrant of His Majesty King George V in order to include Wales in the national component to the Foot Guards, "..though the order...



Each unit mans the guard for a total of six hours, with each detachment standing post for twenty minutes. The four men stand at each corner with heads bowed and weapons inverted and their backs are turned towards the coffin.

On two occasions, the guard
Vigil of the Princes
The Vigil of the Princes is the unofficial name given to two occasions when male members of the British Royal Family have stood guard during the lying in state of one of their relatives during a British State Funeral.-King George V:...

 has been mounted by four male members of the Royal Family
Royal family
A royal family is the extended family of a king or queen regnant. The term imperial family appropriately describes the extended family of an emperor or empress, while the terms "ducal family", "grand ducal family" or "princely family" are more appropriate to describe the relatives of a reigning...

. At the lying in state of King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

 in 1936, the guard was mounted by his four sons King Edward VIII
Edward VIII of the United Kingdom
Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India, from 20 January to 11 December 1936.Before his accession to the throne, Edward was Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay...

, the Duke of York
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

, the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent. For Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the queen consort of King George VI from 1936 until her husband's death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II...

's lying-in-state in 2002, the guard was mounted by her four grandsons the Prince of Wales
Charles, Prince of Wales
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay...

, the Duke of York
Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Prince Andrew, Duke of York KG GCVO , is the second son, and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

, the Earl of Wessex
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex KG GCVO is the third son and fourth child of Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh...

 and Viscount Linley
David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley
-Ancestry:-External links:* * * *...

.

United States




For most federal officeholders, lying in state is the rare honor granted by the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 to a deceased official wherein his or her remains are placed in the rotunda
United States Capitol Rotunda
The United States Capitol rotunda is the central rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.. Located below the Capitol dome, it is the tallest part of the Capitol and has been described as its "symbolic and physical heart."...

 of the United States Capitol
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

 in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, for public viewing. The casket is guarded by members of the armed forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

. By regulation and custom, only Presidents
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

, military commanders, and members of Congress are granted the honor of lying in state. Except for Presidents and former Presidents, the honor is not automatic. Not all those entitled to the honor accept it, however. The first leader to receive this honor was former Speaker of the House of Representatives
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, or Speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives...

 Henry Clay
Henry Clay
Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

 when he died in 1852. Since then, the honor has been extended to 31 people, including 11 Presidents.

The process of lying in state at the Capitol is as follows. The coffin
Coffin
A coffin is a funerary box used in the display and containment of dead people – either for burial or cremation.Contemporary North American English makes a distinction between "coffin", which is generally understood to denote a funerary box having six sides in plan view, and "casket", which...

 or casket is usually placed on a catafalque
Catafalque
A catafalque is a raised bier, soapbox, or similar platform, often movable, that is used to support the casket, coffin, or body of the deceased during a funeral or memorial service. Following a Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, a catafalque may be used to stand in place of the body at the Absolution of...

, usually the Lincoln catafalque
Lincoln catafalque
The Lincoln catafalque is a catafalque hastily constructed in 1865 to support the casket of Abraham Lincoln while the president's body lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. The catafalque has since been used for all those who have lain in state in the Capitol Rotunda, as listed...

, so named as it was constructed upon the death of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

, from when he lay in state following his assassination in 1865. The casket is guarded at each of its corners by servicemen from each of the branches of the armed forces for its duration at the Capitol. In contrast to the practice in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and other countries of the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

, guards at the Capitol face the casket, hold their rifles with their right hand, and keep the rifle butt resting on the floor. After the viewing and ceremony at the Capitol, the remains are taken to the burial location.

Those who have lain in state:
  • 1852 – Henry Clay
    Henry Clay
    Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

    , long-serving Senator and Representative, Secretary of State, Speaker of the House, and presidential candidate
  • 1865 – President Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

    , assassinated while in office
  • 1868 – Thaddeus Stevens
    Thaddeus Stevens
    Thaddeus Stevens , of Pennsylvania, was a Republican leader and one of the most powerful members of the United States House of Representatives...

    , Representative from Pennsylvania
  • 1874 – Charles Sumner
    Charles Sumner
    Charles Sumner was an American politician and senator from Massachusetts. An academic lawyer and a powerful orator, Sumner was the leader of the antislavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate during the American Civil War and Reconstruction,...

    , Senator from Massachusetts
  • 1875 – Vice President Henry Wilson
    Henry Wilson
    Henry Wilson was the 18th Vice President of the United States and a Senator from Massachusetts...

    , served under Grant
    Ulysses S. Grant
    Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

    , died in office
  • 1881 – President James Garfield
    James Garfield
    James Abram Garfield served as the 20th President of the United States, after completing nine consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Garfield's accomplishments as President included a controversial resurgence of Presidential authority above Senatorial courtesy in executive...

    , assassinated while in office
  • 1886 – John A. Logan
    John A. Logan
    John Alexander Logan was an American soldier and political leader. He served in the Mexican-American War and was a general in the Union Army in the American Civil War. He served the state of Illinois as a state senator, congressman and senator and was an unsuccessful candidate for Vice President...

    , Senator from Illinois
  • 1901 – President William McKinley
    William McKinley
    William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

    , assassinated while in office
  • 1909 – Pierre L'Enfant – although he died in 1825, he was disinterred, laid in state upon reinterment at Arlington National Cemetery
  • 1917 – Admiral George Dewey
    George Dewey
    George Dewey 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...

    , Admiral of the Navy
    Admiral of the Navy (United States)
    Admiral of the Navy is a rank in the United States Navy that has only been held once in history, by George Dewey. In recognition of his victory at Manila Bay in 1898, Congress authorized a single officer to hold the rank of Admiral, and promoted Dewey to this rank in March 1899...

  • 1921 – The Unknown Soldier for World War I
  • 1923 – President Warren Harding, died in office
  • 1930 – President William Howard Taft
    William Howard Taft
    William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...

    , President 1909–13, also Chief Justice
    Chief Justice of the United States
    The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

     1921–30
  • 1948 – John J. Pershing
    John J. Pershing
    John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing, GCB , was a general officer in the United States Army who led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I...

    , General of the Armies of the United States
    General of the Armies
    General of the Armies of the United States, or more commonly referred to as General of the Armies, is the highest possible officer rank of the United States Army.Only two soldiers have been granted the rank of General of the Armies; John J...

  • 1953 – Robert Taft
    Robert Taft
    Robert Alphonso Taft , of the Taft political family of Cincinnati, was a Republican United States Senator and a prominent conservative statesman...

    , U.S. Senator and Majority Leader
  • 1958 – The Unknown Soldiers for World War II and the Korean War
  • 1963 – President John F. Kennedy
    John F. Kennedy
    John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

    , assassinated
    John F. Kennedy assassination
    John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas...

     while in office
  • 1964 – General Douglas MacArthur
    Douglas MacArthur
    General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

    , General of the Army
  • 1964 – President Herbert Hoover
    Herbert Hoover
    Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

    , President 1929–33
  • 1969 – President Dwight Eisenhower, President 1953–1961, Supreme Allied Commander
    Supreme Allied Commander
    Supreme Allied Commander is the title held by the most senior commander within certain multinational military alliances. It originated as a term used by the Western Allies during World War II, and is currently used only within NATO. Dwight Eisenhower served as Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary...

     during World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

  • 1969 – Everett Dirksen
    Everett Dirksen
    Everett McKinley Dirksen was an American politician of the Republican Party. He represented Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate...

    , Illinois Senator, Senate Minority Leader 1959–1969
  • 1972 – J. Edgar Hoover
    J. Edgar Hoover
    John Edgar Hoover was the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States. Appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation—predecessor to the FBI—in 1924, he was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972...

    , FBI Director 1929–1972
  • 1973 – President Lyndon B. Johnson
    Lyndon B. Johnson
    Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

    , President 1963–1969
  • 1978 – Hubert Humphrey
    Hubert Humphrey
    Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

    , Vice President 1965–1969, Minnesota Senator
  • 1984 – The Unknown Soldier for the Vietnam War (later identified as 1st. Lt. Michael J. Blassie
    Michael Blassie
    First Lieutenant Michael Joseph Blassie was an officer in the United States Air Force. Prior to identification of his remains, Blassie was the Unknown service member from the Vietnam War laid to rest at the Tomb of the Unknowns.After graduating from St. Louis University High School, Blassie...

    )
  • 1989 – Claude Pepper
    Claude Pepper
    Claude Denson Pepper was an American politician of the Democratic Party, and a spokesman for left-liberalism and the elderly. In foreign policy he shifted from pro-Soviet in the 1940s to anti-Communist in the 1950s...

    , long Serving Senator and Representative
  • 2004 – President Ronald Reagan
    Ronald Reagan
    Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

    , President 1981–1989
  • 2006–07 – President Gerald Ford
    Gerald Ford
    Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

    , President 1974–1977


The United States Congress has created a similar—though not identical—privilege for distinguished Americans who do not qualify for a lying in state designation. The process of lying in honor is very similar to that of lying in state with the exception that the honor guard in the Rotunda is provided by the Capitol Police or another suitable source.

Those who have lain in honor:
  • 1998 – United States Capitol Police
    United States Capitol Police
    The United States Capitol Police is a federal police force charged with protecting the United States Congress within the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its territories.-History:...

     Officer Jacob Chestnut
    Jacob Chestnut
    Jacob Joseph Chestnut , one of the two United States Capitol Police officers killed in the line of duty on July 24, 1998, was the first African American to lie in honor in the United States Capitol. Chestnut is buried in Arlington National Cemetery...

     and Detective John Gibson
    John Gibson (police officer)
    John Michael Gibson was a United States Capitol Police detective assigned to the dignitary protection detail of Congressman Tom DeLay. Gibson was one of two people killed inside the United States Capitol during a 1998 shooting rampage.-Personal life:Gibson was a native of Boston, Massachusetts...

  • 2005 – Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks
    Rosa Parks
    Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was an African-American civil rights activist, whom the U.S. Congress called "the first lady of civil rights", and "the mother of the freedom movement"....


In 1998, Russell Eugene Weston Jr. stormed the Capitol
United States Capitol shooting incident (1998)
The United States Capitol shooting incident of 1998 was an attack on July 24, 1998 which led to the death of two United States Capitol Police officers. Detective John Gibson and Officer Jacob Chestnut were killed when Russell Eugene Weston Jr. entered the Capitol and opened fire...

 and shot and killed Chestnut and Gibson. In response, Congress provided for 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
Rosa Parks
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was an African-American civil rights activist, whom the U.S. Congress called "the first lady of civil rights", and "the mother of the freedom movement"....

, Congress permitted her remains to lie in honor at the Rotunda as well; Parks became the second African-American and the first woman to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda.

Supreme Court Justices are laid in state in the Great Hall of the United States Supreme Court Building
United States Supreme Court building
The Supreme Court Building is the seat of the Supreme Court of the United States. It is situated in Washington, D.C. at 1 First Street, NE, on the block immediately east of the United States Capitol. The building is under the jurisdiction of the Architect of the Capitol. On May 4, 1987, the Supreme...

. Justices who have been awarded this honor include:
  • 1974 – Chief Justice Earl Warren
    Earl Warren
    Earl Warren was the 14th Chief Justice of the United States.He is known for the sweeping decisions of the Warren Court, which ended school segregation and transformed many areas of American law, especially regarding the rights of the accused, ending public-school-sponsored prayer, and requiring...

  • 1993 – Justice Thurgood Marshall
    Thurgood Marshall
    Thurgood Marshall was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving from October 1967 until October 1991...

  • 1995 – Chief Justice Warren E. Burger
    Warren E. Burger
    Warren Earl Burger was the 15th Chief Justice of the United States from 1969 to 1986. Although Burger had conservative leanings, the U.S...

  • 1997 – Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.
    William J. Brennan, Jr.
    William Joseph Brennan, Jr. was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1956 to 1990...

  • 1999 – Justice Harry A. Blackmun
    Harry Blackmun
    Harold Andrew Blackmun was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1970 until 1994. He is best known as the author of Roe v. Wade.- Early years and professional career :...

  • 2005 – Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, the first so-honored to have died in office.

Vatican City



It is customary for a deceased pope to lie in state in Saint Peter's basilica between the Mass of Visitation and the Mass of Requiem.

See also

  • Caisson
  • Catafalque
    Catafalque
    A catafalque is a raised bier, soapbox, or similar platform, often movable, that is used to support the casket, coffin, or body of the deceased during a funeral or memorial service. Following a Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, a catafalque may be used to stand in place of the body at the Absolution of...

  • Death and funeral of Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere
  • Death and funeral of Richard Nixon
    Death and funeral of Richard Nixon
    On April 22, 1994, Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, died after suffering a stroke four days earlier. His public funeral followed five days later at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in his hometown of Yorba Linda, California...

  • Death and state funeral of Gerald Ford
    Death and state funeral of Gerald Ford
    On December 26, 2006, Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States, died at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, at 6:45 p.m. local time . At 8:49 p.m...

  • Death and state funeral of Omar Bongo
    Death and state funeral of Omar Bongo
    The second President of Gabon, Omar Bongo, died in Spain on June 8, 2009, after having suffered from colorectal cancer. A month of mourning and state funeral, spanning June 11 to 18th, followed....

  • Death and state funeral of Pierre Trudeau
    Death and state funeral of Pierre Trudeau
    The death and state funeral of Pierre Trudeau took place in September 2000. Pierre Trudeau was the 15th prime minister of Canada, serving from 1968 to 1984, with a brief interruption in 1979–1980. Trudeau died on September 28, 2000...

  • Death and state funeral of Ronald Reagan
    Death and state funeral of Ronald Reagan
    On June 5, 2004, Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, died after having suffered from Alzheimer's disease for nearly a decade. His seven-day state funeral followed, spanning June 5–11...

  • Funeral of Edward VII
    Funeral of Edward VII
    The Funeral of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom occurred on Friday, 20 May 1910. It was one of the largest gatherings of European royalty ever to take place, and one of the last before World War I ended the era of European royalty....

  • Funeral of Pope John Paul II
    Funeral of Pope John Paul II
    The funeral of Pope John Paul II was held on 8 April 2005, six days after his death on 2 April. The funeral was followed by the novemdiales devotional in which the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches observe nine days of mourning....

  • Death and state funeral of Lech Kaczyński and Maria Kaczyńska
    Death and state funeral of Lech Kaczyński and Maria Kaczyńska
    Lech Kaczyński, the fourth President of the Republic of Poland, died on 10 April 2010, after a Polish Air Force Tu-154 crashed outside of Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 aboard...

  • Funeral train
    Funeral train
    A funeral train is a train specially chartered in order to carry a coffin or coffins to a resting place. Funeral trains today are often reserved for leaders and national heroes, as part of a state funeral, but in the past were sometimes the chief means of transporting coffins and mourners to...

  • Lying in repose
    Lying in repose
    Lying in repose is a term used to describe when a deceased person, often of some stature, is available for public viewing. "Lying in repose" is different from the formal honor of "lying in state", which is generally held at the principal government building of the country and often accompanied by...

  • Lincoln Catafalque
    Lincoln catafalque
    The Lincoln catafalque is a catafalque hastily constructed in 1865 to support the casket of Abraham Lincoln while the president's body lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. The catafalque has since been used for all those who have lain in state in the Capitol Rotunda, as listed...

  • Missing man formation
    Missing man formation
    The missing man formation is an aerial salute performed as part of a flyover of aircraft at a funeral or memorial event, typically in memory of a fallen pilot. The missing man formation is often called "the missing man flyby"...

  • Riderless horse
    Riderless horse
    A riderless horse or caparisoned horse is a single horse, without a rider, and with boots reversed in the stirrups, which sometimes accompanies a funeral procession...

  • State funeral
    State funeral
    A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honor heads of state or other important people of national significance. State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition...

  • State funeral of John F. Kennedy
    State funeral of John F. Kennedy
    The state funeral of John F. Kennedy took place in Washington, DC during the three days that followed his assassination on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas....

  • State funerals in the United States
    State funerals in the United States
    State funerals in the United States are public funerals held in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. that are offered to a sitting or ex-President of the United States, a President-elect, as well as other people designated by the President...

  • Vigil of the Princes
    Vigil of the Princes
    The Vigil of the Princes is the unofficial name given to two occasions when male members of the British Royal Family have stood guard during the lying in state of one of their relatives during a British State Funeral.-King George V:...