World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Lincoln Catafalque


Lincoln Catafalque

The Lincoln Catafalque in Washington's Tomb

The Lincoln catafalque is a first American president.

No law, written rule, or regulation specifies who may lie in state; use of the Rotunda is controlled by concurrent action of the House and Senate. Any person who has rendered distinguished service to the nation may lie in state if the family so wishes and Congress approves. In the case of unknown soldiers, the President or the appropriate branch of the armed forces initiates the action.

A ceremonial Honor Guard prepares to move the flag-draped casket of former President Ronald Reagan during his state funeral in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

Senators and representatives have lain in state on the catafalque elsewhere in the Capitol. An example of this was when the catafalque was used for the six hours that Senator Robert C. Byrd lay in repose on the Senate floor on July 1, 2010. The catafalque has also been used six times in the Supreme Court Building, for the lying in state of former Chief Justice Earl Warren on July 11–12, 1974; former Justice Thurgood Marshall, January 27, 1993; former Chief Justice Warren Earl Burger, June 28, 1995; former Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., July 28, 1997; Justice Harry A. Blackmun, March 8, 1999, and Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist on September 6–7, 2005. In addition, it was used in the Department of Commerce building on April 9–10, 1996, for the lying in state of Secretary of Commerce Ronald H. Brown.

The catafalque is a simple bier of rough pine boards nailed together and covered with black cloth. Although the base and platform have occasionally been altered to accommodate the larger size of modern coffins and for the ease of the attending military personnel, it is basically the same today as it was in Lincoln's time. Presently the catafalque measures 7 feet 1 inch (216 cm) long, 2 feet 6 inches (76 cm) wide, and 2 feet (61 cm) high. The attached base is 8 feet 10 inches (269 cm) long, 4 feet 3 12 inches (131 cm) wide, and 2 inches (5 cm) high. The platform is 11 feet 1 inch (338 cm) long, 6 feet (183 cm) wide, and 9 14 inches (23.5 cm) high. Although the cloth covering the catafalque has been replaced several times, the style of the drapery is similar to that used in 1865.

A list of those who have lain on the catafalque appears below.


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.