Congressman Elijah E. Cummings to Lie in State in U.S. Capitol

October 22, 2019
Press Release
Information on Public Viewing Hours, Prohibited Items, Road Closures, and Other Restrictions
The late Congressman Elijah E. Cummings will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, October 24, 2019.  Members of the public and the Congressional community are invited to pay their respects at the U.S. Capitol.  
Following a private arrival ceremony to include Congressman Cummings’ family and Members of Congress in Statuary Hall, the U.S. Capitol will open to the public from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m., on Thursday, October 24.  All visitors will enter through the South entrance of the Capitol Visitor Center.
The following is specific information for the Capitol Complex regarding street closures, restricted access to the U.S. Capitol, and other details regarding the event.


The U.S. Capitol Building will be restricted to only those with Congressional credentials beginning at 7 a.m. on Thursday, October 24, to include Members of Congress and spouses, invited dignitaries, USCP credentialed guests, and credentialed media.  All official business visitors must be escorted by staff from the North or South Doors until 1 p.m., when the Senate will resume regular business.  Restrictions will remain in place on the House side of the Capitol Building for the remainder of the day.
Members of the public wishing to pay their respects should be prepared for any forecasted weather conditions as lines will be queuing outside.  Please note:  No flowers, sealed envelopes, or other offerings/tokens will be allowed into the U.S. Capitol or Capitol Visitor Center. 
The viewing public, including those with special needs, may begin lining up on the morning of Thursday, October 24, on First Street, NE/SE, between Constitution and Independence Avenues, or Second Street, NE/SE, between East Capitol Street and Independence Avenue, SE, until the U.S. Capitol is opened to the public at 1 p.m. 
In order to be respectful while participating in the viewing, protocol requires that cell phones and other electronic devices must be turned off while in the U.S. Capitol.  Photography and electronic recordings will not be allowed while visitors are in the U.S. Capitol.  Visitors are asked to be patient during this event, and everyone’s cooperation is greatly appreciated to ensure the event is both respectful and secure.  


The United States Capitol Police (USCP) recommends that those planning to attend this event bring as few items as possible in order to expedite the security screening process.  In addition to any other items at the discretion of security screeners, the following items are prohibited in the U.S. Capitol and on its Grounds.
  • All firearms, dangerous weapons, explosives, or incendiary devices
  • Firearms to include replica guns and ammunition
  • Weapons (to include but not limited to):  Black jack, sling shot, sand club, sandbag, knuckles, electric stun guns, knives (of any size), martial arts weapons or devices
  • Pointed objects to include but not limited to razors, box cutters, knives, knitting needles, letter openers. Pens and pencils are permitted. 
  • Explosives and explosive devices to include Molotov Cocktails, components of a destructive device, and fireworks
  • Bags exceeding the size of 18” wide x 14” high x 8.5” deep
  • Mace and pepper spray
  • Liquids of any kind, including water and other beverages
  • Food of any kind, including fruit and unopened packaged food
  • Aerosol containers
  • Non-Aerosol spray except for prescribed medical needs
  • Sealed envelopes and packages


The USCP will put the following street closures into effect on Wednesday, October 23 beginning at 8 p.m. to approximately 2 a.m. on Friday, October 25.  There may be additional street closures around the U.S. Capitol as it becomes necessary; other law enforcement agencies may close streets outside of Capitol Grounds as warranted.  Access to the perimeter will be restricted to those bearing proper U.S. Capitol Police authorization and credentials.  
  • East Capitol Street NE/SE, from Second Street, NE/SE, to First Street, NE/SE
  • First Street, NE/SE, from Constitution Ave., NE, to Independence Ave., SE
The use of public transportation is encouraged as there is no public parking on Capitol Grounds.  Please visit to plan your trip.  The closest metro stops are Capitol South, Federal Center SW, and Union Station.  


Beginning on Wednesday, October 23, the second floor of the U.S. Capitol will be closed to all staff-led and public tours.  The U.S. Capitol and Capitol Visitor Center will be closed to all tours on Thursday, October 24.  Tours will resume at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, October 25.  Tour buses will be allowed to drop off and pick up passengers at Peace Circle and Garfield Circle.