Butterfield Requests use of President Lincoln’s Catafalque for Congressman John Lewis to Lie in State

Jul 24, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) offered a resolution on the House floor to enable Congressman John Lewis to receive the high honor of lying in state on the Lincoln Catafalque—a platform constructed in 1865 to support the casket of Abraham Lincoln while the president's body lay in state in the United States Capitol Rotunda.

“The Honorable John R. Lewis is an American hero and civil rights icon who is deserving of distinct recognition, utmost appreciation, and honor of the highest order. It is especially fitting for John Lewis to have the honor of joining fellow distinguished African Americans who served the United States at the highest levels of government—Justice Thurgood Marshall, Secretary of Commerce Ronald Brown, and Congressman Elijah Cummings— as one of only a few African Americans to lie in state or repose on the Lincoln catafalque, which was constructed in the same year of the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to abolish slavery. I was profoundly humbled and deeply honored to stand before the U.S. House of Representatives today to offer a resolution and request unanimous consent that Congressman John Lewis lie in state on the Lincoln Catafalque. America is better because John Lewis lived and now, we must properly honor him in his death.”

Congressman John Robert Lewis will lie in state at the United States Capitol from Monday, July 27, 2020 to Wednesday, July 29, 2020.  On behalf of the family of Congressman Lewis, Speaker Pelosi requested Congressman Butterfield be a member of a receiving party for Congressman Lewis’ casket and to participate in a ceremony preceding the lying in state. The ceremony will take place on Monday, July 27, 2020 at 1:30 pm in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol.