Skip to comments.Byrd may lie in state
Posted on 06/28/2010 1:05:11 PM PDT by Second Amendment First
Sen. Robert Byrd may join Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy among historic figures who have lain in state in the Capitol Rotunda an honor only bestowed upon 28 other Americans over the past 160 years.
Senate leaders are likely to make a request for Byrd to lie in state, aides said Monday, but they are still awaiting approval from Byrds family to go ahead with a formal resolution that would allow Byrds casket to rest under the dome for a public viewing.
With a career that spanned nearly 58 years and ranked him as the longest-serving member in congressional history, Byrd has likely earned the consideration.
In 2006, Gerald Ford was the most recent political figure to lie in state in the Capitol, and he was preceded by Ronald Reagan, whose casket was visited by thousands over three days in June 2004. The caskets are draped with an American flag, and rest upon the same wooden catafalque a raised platform constructed for Lincolns state funeral.
Presidents James Garfield, William McKinley, Warren G. Harding, William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson and were also honored in the political hallowed space.
In 1865, Henry Clay was the first to be honored in the Rotunda after serving five consecutive terms in the House, including service as Speaker.
Other big names bestowed the state honor include Spanish-American War hero George Dewey and architect Pierre Charles L'Enfant.
Three non-political figures have lain in honor, which is different from laying in state: civil rights activist Rosa Parks and the U.S. Capitol Police officers, Jacob Joseph Chestnut and John Michael Gibson, who were killed during an attack on the Capitol in 1998.
Typically, a concurrent resolution from both the Senate and the House must be passed granting permission for the Rotunda space to be used, but the process is usually given top priority, according to the Office of the House Historian.
Less than four days after Reagan died on June 5, 2004, both the Senate and House cleared a resolution, and the President was already lying in state.
The House is expected to introduce a separate resolution honoring Byrds service in Congress and flags at both the Capitol and White House flew at half mast today.
In the past, Congress has sometimes granted the honor without issuing a resolution, with authority being granted solely by the House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader. The option is usually used when Congress is out of session or unavailable to vote on the use of the rotunda.
Better get the hood & robe pressed, pronto!
How come the Kleagle gets to lie in state and Republicans get dumped for congratulating old Jessie Helms???
The double standard again.
I have no problem w/ him lying in state, but let it serve as an example of what we should NOT do... elect leaders for life with no further accountibility to their constituents.
Wow who knew they would bestow this honor to a former member of the KKK?
I certainly hope so. We can rehash his hatred of America and let the dems stew in that!
Well, he lied in the country for long enough. Not surprising he would lie in state.
“Byrd may lie in state”
Why not. He lied everywhere else.
My sympathies to his family, but the man was IMO a disgrace in government.
I wouldn’t lie someone like that near the White House.
Hope they’re stocked up on Fabreeze.
Anyone know where he will be planted, I need to save up some good, ripe PISS for his grave.
Wanna post bets on whether the network news mentions his membership in the KKK?
He has been lying in state for years, he was just propped up.
Can I wear a white sheet, perhaps even burn a cross in his honor, of course?
He looked like he’d been laying in State for the majority of his last term. Poor old man. RIP you old bigot! Enjoy your democrat accolades from the press and fellow bigots in your party.