Lying in State: George h.w. Bush

December 3, 2018
Quick Reads background image

HONORING 41

“..one of America’s greatest points of light”

President George H.W. Bush, the 41st American president, will be the 12th president to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.

Why It Matters

Why We Do It:

  • A royal tradition adopted in America. Started with Sec. of State Henry Clay in 1852. Today, the decision to bestow the honor is made by Congress.
  • Previously, 11 U.S Presidents have lain in state: Presidents Ford, Reagan, Johnson, Eisenhower, Hoover, Kennedy, Taft, Harding, McKinley, Garfield, & Lincoln

Pres. Lincoln’s “Support”

  • Catafalque: a frame that supports a coffin (cat-e-falk).
  • Pres. Lincoln’s catafalque from 1865 has held most of the coffins that have lain in state.
  • The catafalque has had minor restorations since 1865 (retrofitted to hold larger coffins, drapery replaced), but for the most part, it remains like the original.

Lie in \*State\* vs \*Honor\*

  • Average citizens cannot “lie in state”A as that honor is reserved forA gov’t & military officials.
  • Private citizens “lie in honor.”
  • To date, only four Americans have “lain in honor” at the U.S. Capitol: Rev. Billy Graham, two police officers killed during an attack on the U.S. Capitol & Rosa Parks (only woman to lie in state or honor).
“It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of one of America’s greatest points of light, the death of President George H.W. Bush.”



President Trump declared Dec. 5, the day of Pres. H.W. Bush's Washington D.C. funeral, a national day of mourning and ordered flags flown half-staff for 30 days from his day of passing.

President H.W. Bush will lie in state from Monday night until his Washington D.C. funeral on Wednesday. On Thursday, Pres. Bush will be laid to rest in Texas next to his beloved wife, Barbara, and his daughter Robin who died at age 3.

by Jenna Lee,

ImageImageImageImage