Three days of mourning begin for former first lady Nancy Reagan

LOS ANGELES - Three days of formal mourning and solemn ceremonies for former first lady Nancy Reagan are set to begin Wednesday.

See Full Article

A small ceremony in the morning for family and friends in Santa Monica, California will be followed by a motorcade leading to a public viewing in the afternoon at Simi Valley's Ronald Reagan Presidential Library that will continue on Thursday. Eight Secret Service agents who served the Reagans will act as pallbearers when the body is taken from the Santa Monica funeral home.

Friday will be the funeral - which was planned down to the smallest details by the former first lady herself. Just as she was always by his side in life, Nancy Reagan will be laid to rest just inches from President Ronald Reagan on a hillside tomb facing west toward the Pacific Ocean.

Before her death she planned the funeral's flower arrangements, the music to be played by a U.S. Marine Corps band and the people who received invitations to the private memorial.

Among those who had RSVP'd for the service were former President George W. Bush and his wife, former first lady Laura Bush; former first lady Rosalynn Carter; first lady Michelle Obama; and former first lady Hillary Clinton.

"No doubt about it, the most important of her special requests was that she be laid to rest right next to the president, as close as possible," said John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library.

"The way the tomb is constructed," he continued, "her casket will literally be set forth in the ground inches from President Reagan's."

The hour-long service, to which approximately 1,000 people have been invited, is to take place on the library's lawn. On a clear day the gravesite affords visitors ocean views.

Others who have said they will attend include President Richard Nixon's daughter Tricia Nixon Cox and President Lyndon Johnson's daughters Lynda Bird Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson.

"One of our saddest situations is we have so many people who have called or written, saying they would like to attend, but unfortunately it needs to be by invitation only because we only have so much room on the lawn, Heubusch said. "As a result, Mrs. Reagan was very adamant about having some time where the public could come by and pay last respects."

Public viewings are scheduled at the library from 1 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday.

First ladies' funerals, once a quiet affair, changed significantly following the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's widow, Eleanor Roosevelt, in 1962.

Mrs. Roosevelt, a United Nations delegate, author and prominent political figure in her own right, tried to keep the event fairly quiet, limiting the guest list to 250 people, although those guests included President John F. Kennedy, former Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower, and future President Lyndon Johnson. More than 1,000 mourners jammed the streets outside the church in Hyde Park, New York.

The most recent first lady's funeral was for President Gerald Ford's widow, Betty, in 2011. Some 800 people, including Mrs. Reagan, attended a private memorial service for her in Palm Springs, California, followed by a second, smaller service in her hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

When former President Richard Nixon's wife, Pat, died in 1993 some 4,000 people attended a public viewing for her at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California. A private service took place the next day, and Mrs. Reagan and her husband were among those who attended.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Peace parades mark 25th anniversary of Los Angeles riots

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Twenty-five years ago, a jury acquitted four white police officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King, sparking looting and violence that would turn into one of the deadliest race riots in American history. Source
  • 'I just want to see her breathe': Woman meeting mom who got twin sister's lungs

    Canada News CTV News
    Strangers are meeting in Winnipeg this weekend, more than a year after a tragic event changed their lives forever. One night, in February 2016, 23-year-old Leanne Germain, 23, died of complications from taking the drug ecstasy. Source
  • Tories launch campaign rally as N.S. waits for election call

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia's opposition parties have officially launched their campaigns in anticipation of an election call that could come as soon as this weekend thanks to an apparent gaffe by the governing Liberal party. Source
  • Pope urges against war with North Korea: 'I don't think humanity today could bear it'

    World News CTV News
    Pope Francis is warning that "a good part of humanity" will be destroyed if tensions with North Korea escalate, and he is calling for diplomacy and a revived United Nations to take the lead in negotiating a resolution. Source
  • Halifax mother who gave birth in Superstore didn't know she was pregnant

    Canada News CBC News
    The husband of the woman who gave birth in a Halifax grocery store says the arrival of little Ezra was even more of a surprise than it first seemed: the mother didn't know she was pregnant. Source
  • Samantha Bee gets star support for her Not The Correspondents' Dinner event

    World News CBC News
    Washington's once-glitzy "nerd prom" is about to get overshadowed. Late-night TV star Samantha Bee was pulling in celebrities for the first Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner on Saturday — a tongue-in-cheek play on the real bash, where journalists, the president and, in recent years, lots of bold-face names have mingled. Source
  • Calculators included in places where teens stash their drugs

    World News Toronto Sun
    Does your teen spend a lot of time with his graphing calculator? That could be a sign of a drug problem, according to the DEA. On April 20, the Drug Enforcement Administration tweeted out a link with a simple imperative: Find out where kids hide drugs. Source
  • Teens face murder charges in death of Saskatchewan restaurant owner

    Canada News CTV News
    LA RONGE, Sask. - Three teens are facing murder charges in the death of a Saskatchewan restaurant owner who police say was fatally assaulted during a robbery at his business earlier this month. RCMP say three males, aged 18, 17 and 14 were arrested Friday afternoon without incident in the La Ronge area. Source
  • Ex Montreal borough mayor convicted of sexual touching released after 1 month

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL - A lawyer for a former Montreal borough mayor says her client has been allowed to return home after serving a sixth of his sentence for sexually touching a minor. Renee Millette says Gilles Deguire was released from jail earlier this week after serving one month of a six-month sentence. Source
  • Chronicles of crime [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    RANDY RINK RAT’S RAGE Thomas Clayton never stopped being a rink rat at heart. The girls, the parties, the fun. The former minor league hockey player couldn’t seem to grow up. Now, he’ll mature into old age in Attica. Source