Skip Content
U.S. Flag
  
  

Memorial and Funeral Services in the Capitol Rotunda


In the absence of law or written rule, when the Congress is in session, use of the Rotunda is controlled by Senate-House concurrent resolution. 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.

Of the 35 people who have lain in the Capitol Rotunda, 13 have served as a senator at some point in their career (indicated by the asterisk). (Since two of the services honored two individuals, there have been a total of 33 services.)

(*Senator  #Open casket)

HonoreeDateOffice at time of death (or for which best known)
ClayHenry Clay (KY) *# 1852_0701Jul 1, 1852Senator (W-KY), 1806–1807, 1810–1811, 1831–1842, 1849–1852
Abraham Lincoln#1865_0419Apr 19–21, 1865President, 1861–1865
Thaddeus Stevens#1868_0813Aug 13–14, 1868Representative (W-PA), 1859–1868
SumnerCharles Sumner (MA) *# 1874_0313Mar 13, 1874Senator (R-MA), 1851–1874
WilsonHenry Wilson (MA) *# 1875_1125Nov 25–26, 1875Vice President, 1873–1875 (Senator, 1855–1873)
James A. Garfield#1881_0921Sep 21–23, 1881President, 1881
LoganJohn A. Logan (IL) *# 1886_1230Dec 30–31, 1886Senator (R-IL), 1871–1877, 1879–1886
William McKinley#1901_0917Sep 17, 1901President, 1897–1901
Pierre Charles L'Enfant (reinterment)1909_0428Apr 28, 1909Planner of the city of Washington, D.C.
George Dewey1917_0120Jan 20, 1917Admiral of the Navy of the United States
Unknown Soldier of World War I1921_1109Nov 9–11, 1921 
HardingWarren G. Harding (OH) *# 1923_0808Aug 8, 1923President, 1921–1923 (Senator (R-OH), 1915–1921)
William Howard Taft#1930_0311Mar 11, 1930Chief Justice of the United States, 1921–1930 (President, 1909–1913)
John Joseph Pershing#1948_0718Jul 18–19, 1948General of the Armies of the United States
TaftRobert A. Taft (OH) * 1953_0802Aug 2–3, 1953Senator (R-OH), 1939–1953
Unknown Soldiers of World War II and the Korean War1958_0528May 28–30, 1958 
KennedyJohn F. Kennedy (MA) * 1963_1124Nov 24–25, 1963President 1961–1963 (Senator (D-MA), 1953–1960)
Douglas MacArthur#1964_0408Apr 8–9, 1964General of the Army of the United States
Herbert Hoover1964_1123Oct 23–25, 1964President, 1929–1933
Dwight D. Eisenhower1969_0330Mar 30–31, 1969President, 1953–1961
DirksenEverett M. Dirksen (IL) * 1969_0909Sep 9–10, 1969Senator (R-IL), 1951–1969
J. Edgar Hoover1972_0503May 3–4, 1972Director, FBI, 1924–1972
JohnsonLyndon B. Johnson (TX) * 1973_0124Jan 24–25, 1973President, 1963–1969 (Senator (D-TX), 1949–1961; Vice President, 1961–1963)
HumphreyHubert H. Humphrey, Jr. (MN) * 1978_0114Jan 14-15, 1978Senator (D-MN) 1949–1964, 1971–1978 (Vice President, 1965–1969)
Unknown Soldier of the Vietnam Conflict1984_0525May 25–28, 1984
PepperClaude D. Pepper (FL) *# 1989_0601Jun 1–2, 1989Representative (D-FL) 1963–1989 (Senator (D-FL), 1936–1951)
Jacob J. Chestnut
John Gibson 1
1998_0728Jul 28, 1998Capitol Police Officer
Capitol Police Special Agent
Ronald Wilson Reagan2004_0609Jun 9–11, 2004President, 1981–1989
Rosa Parks 22005_1030Oct 30–31, 2005Civil Rights Activist
Gerald R. Ford2006_1230Dec 30, 2006–Jan 2, 2007President, 1974–1977
InouyeDaniel K. Inouye (HI) * 2012_1220Dec 20, 2012Senator (D-HI), 1963–2012 (President pro tempore, 2010–2012)
The Reverend Billy Graham 12018_0228Feb 28–Mar 1, 2018Minister, evangelist and adviser to presidents.
McCainJohn S. McCain III (AZ) * 2018_0831Aug 31, 2018Senator (R-AZ), 1987–2018
George H. W. Bush2018_1203Dec 3–5, 2018President, 1989–1993 (Vice President, 1981–1989)
John R. Lewis2020_0727Jul 27–28, 2020Representative (D-GA), 1987–2020

1. Lay in honor, rather than lay in state.

2. Lay in honor, the first woman to be so honored in the U.S. Capitol

Source: Architect of the Capitol

Senate Historical Office

2020