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There is to be a public viewing from 9 p.m. Thursday through 9 a.m. Friday in the rotunda of the state capitol in Charleston. After a memorial service Friday morning outside the capitol, to be attended by Obama, Biden and a large contingent of lawmakers from Washington, Mr. Byrd‘s body will be flown back to Andrews.

Private services are scheduled for Tuesday at Columbia Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, Va., where Mr. Byrd will be buried.

It is fairly common for people of national import to lie in state or in honor in the Rotunda, the great hall in the center of the Capitol. Former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford were honored in the Rotunda in 2004 and early 2007, and civil rights leader Rosa Parks in 2005.

But while 45 people, including 19th-century Senate greats such as John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay and Charles Sumner, were commemorated on the Senate floor after their deaths, the last to lie in repose in the Senate was William Langer of North Dakota in 1959.