In the process of surfing the Reagan funeral, I learned a bunch of stuff:
- The table that the casket is rested on while lying in state in the rotunda is called the Catafalque. It was built for Lincoln’s casket and has been used for everyone to lay in state in the capitol rotunda since.
- Directly under the capitol rotunda is “Washington’s Tomb”. It was literally built to be the tomb of George and Martha Washington. By the time it was built, the heir to Moun Vernon, Washington’s grandnephew, denied the goverment permission to move the corpse.
- Mount Vernon is on the Potomac, and his grave overlooks the Potomac. The Navy has regulations for what ships must do when passing Washington’s grave:
When a ship of the Navy is passing Washington’s tomb, Mount Vernon, Virginia, between sunrise and sunset, the following ceremonies shall be observed insofar as may be practicable: The full guard and band shall be paraded, the bell tolled, and the national ensign half-masted at the beginning of the tolling of the bell. When opposite Washington’s tomb, the guard shall present arms, persons on deck shall salute, facing in the direction of the tomb, and “Taps” shall be sounded. The national ensign shall be two-blocked and the tolling shall cease at the last note of “Taps,” after which the national anthem shall be played. Upon completion of the national anthem, “Carry on” shall be sounded. (Art. 2185, U.S. Navy Regs., 1948)
- John Tyler died a non-US citizen. He was a member of the Confederate house of representatives.
- Grant died a coke addict.
- LBJ let his hair grow out after he left office.
- Jefferson’s tombstone doesn’t mention that he was president. It does mention that he founded the University of Virginia.