United States

Late Billy Graham to Lie in Honor in US Capitol Rotunda

Graham is the fourth person to lie in honor at the Capitol and the first in almost 13 years

The body of the late Rev. Billy Graham will lie in honor Wednesday in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol building. 

Graham, dubbed "America's Pastor" and the "Protestant Pope," died Wednesday at his North Carolina home at age 99.

His casket will be on display at the Capitol until Thursday, March 1. 

"Members of the public and Capitol Hill community are invited to pay their respects to the late reverend while he lies in rest," a statement from House Speaker Paul Ryan's office said. 

Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are set to participate in a bipartisan service after Graham's casket arrives.

Graham is the fourth person to lie in honor at the Capitol and the first in almost 13 years, following Rosa Parks in 2005.

Graham also will be honored in other ways around the District. On Thursday, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery unveiled a 1972 photograph of Graham taken by Yousuf Karsh. The portrait is set to be on display on the first floor of the museum through March 25.

Ryan and McConnell wrote a letter Wednesday to Graham’s son, the Rev. Franklin Graham, expressing their condolences and asking for permission to have Graham’s body lie in honor at the Rotunda.

Since Henry Clay in 1852, the U.S. Capitol rotunda has been used to pay tribute to the nation’s most distinguished citizens in two ways: being laid in state or in honor. People who lie in state are military officers or elected American officials, while people who lie in honor are private citizens.

Eleven U.S. presidents have lain in state, including Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

Contact Us