Individuals Who Have Lain in State or in Honor
Since Henry Clay in 1852, the U.S. Capitol Rotunda has been used as a place to pay tribute to the Nation’s most distinguished citizens. Made available for public viewing in the Rotunda, persons who have “lain in state” traditionally have been military officers or elected American officials, including 11 U.S. Presidents. In 1998, to recognize two Capitol Police officers who died in the line of duty, Congress granted use of the Rotunda for their caskets to “lie in honor.” Rosa Parks is the third private citizen to lie in honor in the Rotunda.
For a complete list of individuals who have lain in state or lain in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, see The Architect of the Capitol website.
Individuals Who Have Recently Lain in State in the Capitol Rotunda
Senator Daniel Ken Inouye (1924–2012)
A Member of the United States Senate (1963–2012, president pro tempore 2010–2012), a Member of the House of Representatives (1959–1963), and a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, Daniel Inouye was the 12th Senator to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol.
Lay in State: December 20, 2012
President Gerald R. Ford (1913–2006)
The 38th President (1974–1977), the 40th Vice President, and a Member of the House of Representatives (1949–1973, Republican Leader, 1965–1973), Gerald R. Ford was the 11th President to have lain in state in the U.S. Capitol.
Lay in State: December 30, 2006, to January 2, 2007
President Ronald Reagan (1911–2004)
The 40th President and a former Governor of California, Ronald Reagan was the 10th President to have lain in state in the U.S. Capitol.
Lay in State: June 9–11, 2004
Individuals Who Have Lain in Honor in the Capitol Rotunda
Rosa Parks (1913-2005)
Rosa Parks, an African-American seamstress whose act of civil disobedience in 1955 galvanized the U.S. civil rights movement, was the first woman and the second black American to lie in honor in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.
Lay in Honor: October 30-31, 2005
U.S. Capitol Police Officer Jacob J. Chestnut, Jr., (1940–1998) and Detective John M. Gibson (1956–1998)
Officer Jacob J. Chestnut, Jr., and Detective John M. Gibson, died in the line of duty protecting the U.S. Capitol from an armed assailant. They were the first private citizens to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda.
Lay in Honor: July 24, 1998
Oral History Recollections from the Lying-in-State Ceremony for President John F. Kennedy (1917–1963)