Presidential Funerals

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					Presidential Funerals
                History
             Traditions
                 Trivia
Presidential Funerals
   There are no “directions”
    on funerals for
    presidents.
       Some traditions
       Wishes of the family
       Differences in the
        popularity of presidents, if
        they died in office,
        assassinated, etc.
Early Presidents
   Early presidents died
    in their homes and
    were buried there.
Tradition to Notify the Public that
a President had died:
   Lowering flags to half-
    staff for 30 days.
   Arranged times to
    ring bells according to
    their presidential
    number.
       The bells rang 38
        times for President
        Ford on Tuesday.
Trivia: Confusion for the public when
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died:

   Our second (Adams)
    and third (Jefferson)
    presidents both died
    July 4, 1826.
    Some bells didn’t
    have enough break
    between peals – and
    some people thought
    President Monroe
    was dead!
Overlapping Deaths
   Former Presidents
    Johnson and Truman
    died within 21 days of
    one another.
   Flags stayed half-
    staffed for 60 days.
Presidential Funeral Traditions
   It has also been tradition
    to take the former
    president’s picture and
    put it on display with a
    black draping over the
    top.
   Today more common for
    presidents to have their
    portrait framed or matted
    in black for public
    remembrances.
Presidential Funerals
                   The first president to
                    die in office was
                    William Henry
                    Harrison.
                       Presided for only 31
                        days.
                            NOTE about the
                             dangers of LONG
                             speeches!
Harrison started the tradition of “lying in
state” in the Capitol Rotunda

                         Eight presidents have
                          died in office.
                             Harrison (pneumonia)
                             Zachary Taylor (food
                              poisoning) 1850
                             Abraham Lincoln
                              (assassinated) 1865
                             James Garfield
                              (assassinated) 1881
                             William McKinley
                              (assassinated) 1901
Presidents who died in office
                    Warren G. Harding
                     (natural causes?)
                     1923
                    Franklin Roosevelt
                     (stroke) 1945
                    John F. Kennedy
                     (assassinated) 1963
Traditions of Lying in State
                    Honor Guard
                        Five pallbearers and
                         guards from all
                         branches of the
                         military stay with the
                         body 24 hours a day
                         until burial.
Variations of Lying in State
   Sometimes, as in
    President Ford’s case, he
    was moved from lying in
    state from the Rotunda to
    the hallway in front of the
    House of
    Representatives and the
    office of the President of
    the Senate.
   Others choose to lie in
    state in the White
    House’s East Room.
“Typical” funerals for former
presidents
   Lying in State in either
    the Capitol or the East
    Room.
   Motorcade or a caisson
    taking their coffin to the
    National Cathedral.
       Pauses along the way for
        significant locations /
        events for the departed
        president.
“Typical” funeral for a president
   A funeral list is made
    before death to create
    an invitation list.
   Former presidents
    and the current
    president and
    spouses are a MUST
    for attendance.
Sometimes Presidents will want
“themes” for their funerals.
   President Ford
    seemed to want to
    bring unity to the
    bickering and bitter
    feelings between
    Republicans and
    Democrats.
       Will it work????
Presidential Funerals are State
Occasions
   Families have to
    share their husband,
    father, grandfather,
    great grandfather with
    the country
After the funeral – most modern presidents
have chosen burial other than in Washington
DC.

   Usually they choose
    to be buried in their
    home state.
   Usually at the site of
    their presidential
    libraries.
   Graveside services
    are usually for the
    family / friends.
Modern Exceptions to
Presidential Funerals
   President Richard
    Nixon
       Only president to
        resign the presidency.
       Many considered a
        criminal.
       Washington funeral
        would be too
        controversial.
       Funeral stayed in
        California.
Procedures for Assassinated
Presidents
They follow the
  procedure of the first
  assassinated
  president.
Jackie Kennedy brought
  the “custom” back
  when her husband
  was murdered in
  1963.
JFK’s Funeral
What About Presidential Wives?
   First Ladies do not
    get state funerals.
   Often, their portraits
    are brought to the
    front entry of the
    White House and
    draped in black for
    thirty days.
First Lady Funerals
   Private affairs but
    sometimes presidents
    or their spouses will
    attend.
   Honor guards also
    preside.

				
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