1.) Go to Wikipedia.
2.) Click on “Random article.”
3.) Report on the outcome.
The Lincoln catafalque is a catafalque hastily constructed in 1865 to support the casket of Abraham Lincoln while the president’s body lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. The catafalque has since been used for all those who have lain in state in the Capitol Rotunda, as listed below. When not in use, the catafalque is kept below the Crypt in a small vaulted chamber called Washington’s Tomb, which was originally intended, but never used, as the burial place for the first American president.
Hey, this is pretty interesting. To me, anyway. But I’m that kind of geek. I was the kind of kid who memorized the presidents, in order; read books about the architecture of the Capitol; and pretended he was the first openly gay congressman from Oklahoma. In fifth or sixth grade, I even gave a speech on assassinated presidents at a 4-H event. Stop looking at me like that! It’s not that nerdy.
Ok, maybe it is.
Anyway, the Wikipedia article lists all the notables who’ve lain in state on the Lincoln catafalque. They range from Lincoln to Gen. Pershing to Congressman Claude Pepper to President Gerald Ford. Among the list is Thaddeus Stevens, who was a powerful congressman in the Civil War and Reconstruction eras. Strangely enough, my grandfather was named after Stevens. Happily, the name “Thaddeus” didn’t get passed down to me….
That’s Thaddeus Stevens’s photo up there, by the way. Wild and crazy guy, huh?