President George H.W. Bush to Lie in State in U.S. Capitol Rotunda

December 1, 2018
Press Release

The late President George H.W. Bush will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda beginning at 5 p.m. on Monday, December 3, 2018, through 7 a.m. on Wednesday, December 5, 2018.  Members of the public and Congressional community are invited to pay their respects at the U.S. Capitol.  

Following a private arrival ceremony to include President Bush’s family and Members of Congress at 5 p.m., the U.S. Capitol Rotunda will open to the public at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, December 3, 2018.  All visitors will enter through the Capitol Visitor Center.

The following is specific information for the Capitol Complex regarding prohibited items, street closures, parking restrictions, 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 Monday, December 3, 2018, 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 and South Doors.

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 Monday afternoon 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 7:30 p.m.  The public viewing in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda will continue through Tuesday, December 4, and will end at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, December 5.

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 recording will not be allowed while visitors are in the Rotunda.  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
  • Liquid, including water; open and empty clear or translucent bottles and beverage containers are allowed.
  • 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 Sunday, December 2 beginning at 8 p.m. to approximately 12 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5.  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 to the U.S. Capitol.  The closest metro stops are Capitol South, Federal Center SW, and Union Station.  



Beginning on Monday, December 3, the U.S. Capitol and Capitol Visitor Center will be closed to all staff-led and public tours until 9 a.m. on Thursday, December 6.  

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony scheduled for Wednesday, December 5 has been rescheduled to Thursday, December 6, 2018, at 5 p.m. on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.  For more information on the Christmas tree lighting, please visit



Tour buses will be allowed to drop off and pick up passengers at Peace Circle and Garfield Circle.