John Glenn to be 9th person to lie in state at Ohio capitol


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — When John Glenn lies in state at the Ohio Statehouse on Friday, he will become the ninth person to do so and will join a list that includes Abraham Lincoln.

The public viewing for Glenn, who died last week at 95, is scheduled for an eight-hour stretch beginning at noon.

It begins a series of events celebrating the life of the first American to orbit Earth, who also was a former U.S. senator, and includes a Marine honor guard, a public processional and a public memorial service at Ohio State University’s Mershon Auditorium. The memorial service requires a free ticket.

Eight others — including statesmen, a war correspondent and an Arctic explorer — have lain in repose in Ohio since its capitol building opened in the 1850s, according to information the Ohio History Connection, a statewide history organization, provided to The Associated Press.

The first was explorer Elisha Kent Kane in 1857, the year the building opened. Kane’s death at age 36 sparked a huge public response at the time. He’d been part of two expeditions to rescue the explorer Sir John Franklin. His remains traveled the country in a processional that also passed through Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. In Ohio, he had to lay in repose in the Senate chamber because the roof of the Statehouse Rotunda hadn’t yet been completed.

In 1865, following his assassination, President Lincoln lay in state in Ohio for nine hours before the funeral train taking his body around the country moved on. The 150th anniversary of the event was marked last year.

Januarius Aloysis MacGahan, a journalist, war correspondent and Ohio native, lay in state in 1884. Materials from the Statehouse Education and Visitors Center say McGahan’s writings were pivotal in the Russian invasion of Bulgaria to expel the Turks and he did a stint in the Russian Army during the conflict. His actions earned him the title “liberator of Bulgaria.”

There was a 40-year gap before the next Statehouse viewing, that of Ohio’s 38th governor, James Campbell, in 1924. Populist Republican James Rhodes, who served 16 years as Ohio’s governor between 1963 and 1983, including during the 1970 Kent State shootings, lay in state in 2001.

Others who lay in state were Lt. Gov. Merle Shoemaker, who had died in office, in 1985; former House Speaker Vernal Riffe, who died in 1997, two years after wrapping up a 20-year stint overseeing the chamber; and, in 2007, former congressman and long-time state senator Paul Gillmor.