History in the Capitol Rotunda, where McCain’s coffin lying in state

The catafalque, the wooden platform for President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral, which is where sen. John McCain the coffin Friday and Saturday will be rest in the morning.

(Fox News)

Many legislators, government officials and other dignitaries to circulate freely around the U.S. Capitol to pay their respects to the late Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, as he lies in state in the rotunda.

But there are many ordinary Americans.

This is because the man who designed the Capitol wanted it that way.

The house and Senate chambers are for the legislature. But neo-classical British architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, decided that the rotunda is for the people.

Discussion on the use of the individual rooms in the capital, goes back to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The use of the house and Senate were self-explanatory. But in 1806 there were a lot of conversations between Jefferson and Latrobe over the center of the capital.

The plans focused on the creation of a major entrance to the building in the middle. Jefferson and Latrobe was thought that this area should gather in the center is a place for the public. Its use as a richly decorated vestibule for those who go, the house and Senate, was secondary.

The rotunda can be such as the interior of the Pantheon in Rome. But in his projects, Latrobe, with the designation of the rotunda: “the hall of the people.”

And this is where “the people” come to honor McCain.

Early on, there was talk about the use of the rotunda for the Joint sessions of the Congress. But those that materialized never then back. The construction of the Rotunda began in the year 1818. The Congress for the first time the rotunda for a ceremony in 1824 to honor the Marquis de Lafayette, a key figure in the American and French revolutions.

Setting the precedent for how the young nation, and the rotunda room. It was a crossroads for the house and the Senate, and the nation. It was not a room for the struggle of politics and political disputes. The rotunda was a place where the nation would gather the people together, check the differences at the door.

There is a reason the rotunda is round. A circle is the symbol of equality.

A ceremony for McCain in the state, the type of event Latrobe had in mind for the Capitol rotunda: a place to mourn some of the nation’s most-outstanding citizens.

McCain, the 30th of the soul to lie in state in the rotunda. The late speaker of the house of representatives and Kentucky Senator Henry Clay was the first person to lie in state in 1852, followed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1865. Tone in state with open coffin. The last number, to lie in state with open coffin was the late Sen. and Rep. Claude Pepper, Florida Democrat, in 1989.

Pierre L’enfant, the master plan for Washington, DC L’ Enfant died with $46 to his name and a couple of pocket watches in the year 1825. L’enfant was originally buried in Chillum, Maryland, in front of the gates of the city, which he developed. But they have exhumed L’enfant in 1909. Congress honored L’enfant, his remains lie in state in the rotunda. You brought L’enfant on a hill in Arlington National Cemetery, overlooking the capital.

McCain’s coffin resting on a wooden catafalque, a platform, especially for Lincoln’s funeral. It is pronounced KAT-uh-falk. It is used to store the catafalque into the grave is located on two floors directly below the rotunda. This is where you buried was George Washington. But Washington is buried at Mount Vernon. The catafalque is now on display in the Capitol Visitors Center.

To honor four persons located in “a level” below “in the state.” U.S. Capitol Police Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson, a civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, and only in the last February, Rev. Billy Graham. The ceremony for the lying “in honor” looks like a lot of you for the lying in state. For Graham, the used, a replica catafalque, which is now kept in the tomb of Washington in the Capitol.

No African-Americans have located. Only chestnut and Park, “in honor.” Parks, the only woman to lie in state or honor.

We expect immense crowds that file into the Capitol to McCain’s services, if the building to the public Friday afternoon open. The lines for President Herbert Hoover’s service in the capital, when he lay in state in 1964 were rather short. However, they openly held the Capitol for 24 hours, when Rosa Parks lay in honor in the year 2005.

Parks’ ceremony was different than most. A city-bus, similar to the one in Montgomery, Alabama, on which Parks refused, in the “colored section” transported her remains to the Capitol.

President Gerald Ford was the last chief executive to lie in state in the rotunda in the end of 2006/beginning of 2007. About 57,000 people past Ford’s coffin filed in the rotunda.

The security officials scrambled fighter jets when air traffic controllers lost contact with the Kentucky State Police aircraft, with the then-Kentucky Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher to President Ronald Reagan, the ceremony at the Capitol in June 2004. The incident forced the evacuation of the Capitol complex, as they expected a horse-drawn caisson with Reagan’s body to the Capitol to lie for him.

Reagan’s body is considered to be 105,000 people, twice as many as those who came to honor Ford.

Hawaii Democrat Sen. Daniel Inouye was the last person in the state, in December 2012. Inouye lost his arm in the second world war, only on a hillside in Italy, where Senate majority Leader Bob Dole was also wounded. The Kansas Republican came to the rotunda to Inouye to pay his respects, as his former colleagues in the state. The two bonded over politics as they convalesced in a Michigan hospital during the second world war.

If Dole, the rotunda approached, he dropped his wheelchair. With the help of his wife, the former North Carolina Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole, and current Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Dole, s, and shuffled in the direction of the Inouye ‘ coffin in the center of the rotunda. Dole, the tears, and touched the casket of his friend. Dole said, he stood up and went, “because I would not want Dan to see me in a wheelchair.”

A few presidents are not located in the state of, in the course of the years. President Harry Truman did not like ceremonies, and even the Congressional Gold Medal rejected. The family of President Richard Nixon, the honorary refused, out of concern that some visitors to the rotunda can’t be respectful.

Dozens of house and Senate members gather on Friday in the rotunda to honor McCain. Vice-President Mike Pence, McConnell and speaker of the house of representatives Paul Ryan to provide instructions. Other Congress leaders, lays a wreath.

The would depart carrier and the legislature after the ceremony. But the public will come to say goodbye to McCain in the afternoon. Thousands queue, the on the West front of the Capitol, in the summer heat for the opportunity, for only a few seconds to walk past the casket of John Sidney McCain.

After all, this is the kind of thing that Latrobe intended for the rotunda. The house and Senate chambers are for the legislature. But the rotunda is the hall of the people.

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular