Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Former Speaker George Keverian's body to lie in State at State House

Former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives George Keverian died on March 6th. On March 11th, in honor of his service, his body will lie in state at the Massachusetts State House. And with this commemoration, he will join only eleven others who have been so remembered.

The first to be so honored was Charles Sumner in 1874. Wilmon W. Blackmar, Commander in Chief of the Grand Army followed in 1905, Brigadier General Edmund Rice in 1906, Secretary of State William Olin in 1911, Ex-Governor Curtis Guild in 1915, General Clarence R. Edwards in 1931 and Ex- Governor James Michael Curley in 1958. In recent years, the following have been added to this list: Ex-Speaker of the United States House of Representatives as well as of the Massachusetts House Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. in 1994, former Governor Francis Sargent in 1998, Congressman John Joseph Moakley in 2001 and former Governor Edward J. King in 2006.

For information on any of these distinguished men, please visit the State Library. In the Reference area, the library has a folder entitled "State House- Lying in State" with articles about some of these viewings. Also in the Library, there are numerous sources of information about these public figures. For additional references to those who have lain in state in the State House, one may consult the Library's Burrill File located in our Special Collections Department. One can also check the Zimmer Index, which is digitized and available on our website at www.mass.gov/lib.

-Alix Quan, Assistant Director/Head of Reference

-Pamela Schofield, Legislative Reference Librarian