- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 29, 2005

Rosa Parks, who sparked the civil rights movement with a quiet act of defiance, will lie in repose at the U.S. Capitol tomorrow night and Monday morning — the first woman and the second black person to be so honored.

The House yesterday approved a resolution to allow the honor, and the Senate passed a similar act Thursday night.

Mrs. Parks’ casket will be available for public viewing after prayers and a wreath-laying ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda from 6 p.m. to midnight tomorrow and from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday.

The casket will be transported in a hearse in a motorcade that will include “an antique bus representative of the one she made history in in 1955,” said Tessa Hafen, spokeswoman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat.

Mrs. Parks’ casket will be brought up the East Front steps of the Capitol building and placed in the Rotunda.

After the Capitol honor, the casket will be flown to Detroit via Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, recently renamed after the U.S. Supreme Court’s first black justice. Mrs. Parks then will lie in repose at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.

Her funeral will be held Wednesday at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit.

Yesterday, Mrs. Parks body lay in repose at St. Paul’s AME Church in Montgomery, Ala.

Elsewhere in Montgomery, hundreds of people packed a historic church yesterday to remember Mrs. Parks and her role in the Montgomery bus boycott, and to carry on her legacy of civil rights activism.

“Go back to wherever you came from and put it to action,” 94-year-old Johnnie Carr told the cheering, standing-room-only crowd at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, which was led by Martin Luther King during the boycott.

Mrs. Parks, who died Monday at 92 at her home in Detroit, inspired Montgomery’s bus boycott and the civil rights movement on Dec. 1, 1955, when she refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man.

More than 500 people, including dozens of elected officials, attended the memorial yesterday.

Tomorrow morning, a memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s AME Church. After the service, her casket will be flown to Marshall Airport outside Baltimore, then transported to the Capitol.

House officials are considering altering the chamber’s Wednesday schedule to allow lawmakers to attend her funeral in Detroit without missing any of the legislative session, congressional staffers said yesterday.

The office of House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican, was making arrangements with the Pentagon to provide military flights to lawmakers who wish to attend the funeral, staffers said.

Lying in repose in the Capitol is a rare honor that is bestowed upon a notable person only by joint action of the House and the Senate, with the consent of the person’s family.

Former President Ronald Reagan last year was the last national leader to lie in state in the Capitol. The families of former Presidents Harry S. Truman and Richard M. Nixon declined the honor.

Noted figures who have lain in repose at the Capitol include Washington architect Pierre L’Enfant, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and U.S. Capitol Police Officers Jacob J. Chestnut and John Gibson, who were killed by a gunman at the Capitol’s entrance in 1998. Officer Chestnut was the first black to be so honored.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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