Planners say Ronald Reagan's state funeral, to include a 24-hour lying in state in the U.S. Capitol and a service at Washington National Cathedral, will closely follow that of Lyndon B. Johnson in 1973.
Reagan's family has the final say on the four days of observances, the schedule for which is expected to be finalized today, said one federal official involved in the planning. The ceremonies are being planned "down to the minute," the official said on condition of anonymity. It will be the first presidential funeral in Washington since Johnson's; Richard M. Nixon was buried in Yorba Linda, Calif., in 1994.
Initial plans call for Reagan's body to lie in state for a day at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. The body then will be flown to Andrews Air Force Base on Wednesday, arriving at 5 p.m. It will be driven in a motorcade to Washington, and plans call for it then to be taken by horse-drawn caisson to the Capitol.
A viewing for national and world leaders will be held in the Capitol Rotunda, after which the former president will lie in state for 24 hours. In that time, the public will be allowed to enter via the West Front Terrace, and crowds can assemble at Third Street.
The day of the funeral, the body will be carried by caisson in a procession from the Capitol to a spot near the White House. From there, a hearse will carry the coffin to the cathedral for a funeral officiated by the newly nominated ambassador to the United Nations, John C. Danforth, an Episcopal minister and a former Republican senator from Missouri.
Afterward, the former president's body will be taken directly to Andrews Air Force Base and flown to California. Reagan will be buried in a wooded grove overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the presidential library, according to Cary Garman, chief financial officer of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.
Heavy attendance by foreign dignitaries is expected, particularly with the summit of the Group of Eight to take place 600 miles south of Washington at Sea Island, Ga., on Tuesday through Thursday.