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Presidential Burial Sites

View of Abraham Lincoln's grave in burial chamber of the Lincoln Tomb

Photo by Robert Lawton on Wikimedia Commons

Most Americans know that President John F. Kennedy is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, but where are the burial sites of other former presidents of the United States?

This guide explains where some famous presidents are buried, from Zachary Taylor in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery to Calvin Coolidge in Plymouth Notch Cemetery, Woodrow Wilson in Washington National Cathedral and Ronald Reagan in Simi Valley, California.

George Washington(1732-1799)

Portrait of George Washington as President of the United States

Image by White House Research on Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

George Washington is buried in the Washington Family Mausoleum on the Mount Vernon Estate in Fairfax County, Virginia. After Washington’s death Congress had hoped to inter him beneath the Washington Monument in the nation’s capital, but the first President had made his wish to be buried in the grounds of his family home very clear. The original Washington Family Mausoleum, the ‘Old Tomb,’ had become dilapidated, so he also left instructions for a ‘New Tomb’ to be constructed. Washington and his beloved wife, Martha, are buried in marble sarcophagi in the New Tomb. The Mount Vernon Estate is open to the public.

Close-up of marble sarcophogus containing remains of George Washington, with seal of United States and 'Washington' carved on it

Photo by Laura A. Macaluso, Ph.D on Wikimedia Commons

Presidency: 1789-1797 (1)

Party: Independent

Burial Site: Mount Vernon Estate (Virginia)

Inscription: “Within this Enclosure Rest the remains of Gen.l George Washington.”/ "Washington."

Zachary Taylor (1784-1850)

Black and white photograph of Zachary Taylor in military uniform

Photo by Heritage Auction Galleries on Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

Zachary Taylor is buried in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville, Virginia. Taylor, a former general, won the Whig nomination for the presidency in 1848 because of his popularity after victories in the Mexican-American War.

Taylor's opposition to the admission of new slave states to the Union caused controversy and Taylor’s presidency was cut-short after 16 months because of his sudden death from gastroenteritis, or cholera, in 1850.

In 1991 his body was exhumed and tested for poisoning because he had upset powerful interests in the country. No evidence for this theory was found and it is now believed that poor medical treatment was a more likely cause of his death.

Presidency: 1849-1850 (12)

Party: Whig

Burial Site: Zachary Taylor National Cemetery (Virginia)

Inscription: "1784 Zachary Taylor 1850."

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

Black and white photograph of Abraham Lincoln head and shoulders

Photo by Library of Congress on Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

Abraham Lincoln is buried in the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois.

After his assasination in 1865 Lincoln’s body was taken on a two week tour of five states, against the wishes of his devastated widow, Mary, to let hundreds of thousands of mourners say goodbye to their president.

Lincoln was eventually buried in a concrete vault beneath the burial chamber of the Lincoln Tomb in his home state. Three of his sons and Mary, who died in 1882, are interred in crypts in the chamber’s walls. The chamber, and rotunda which leads to it, are lined with models of important Lincoln statues, and plaques with quotes from famous speeches.

Copy of Francis Bicknell Carpenter's painting; 'First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Lincoln

Image by United States Senate on Wikimedia Commons

Presidency: 1861-1865 (16)

Party: Republican/National Union

Burial Site: Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site (Illinois)

Inscription: "Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1885”/ “Now he belongs to the ages.”

Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)

Black and white photograph of Woodrow Wilson cheerfully throwing the first pitch from a stand at a baseball game watched by spectators

Photo by Library of Congress on Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

Woodrow Wilson is buried in the Wilson Bay of Washington National Cathedral in Washington D.C.

Wilson suffered a massive stroke in 1919. He refused to resign, but was unable to fulfill his duties for the remainder of his second term. He continued to live in Washington D.C. until his death in 1924. The former president’s funeral was held at his home, before a burial service in the cathedral.

Wilson is the only president of the United States who is buried in Washington D.C.

Photo of the tomb of Woodrow Wilson and his wife in Washington National Cathedral with the Seal of the President of the United States in the foreground

Photo by Moodpocket on Wikimedia Commons

Presidency: 1913-1921 (28)

Party: Democratic

Burial Site: Washington National Cathedral (Washington D.C).

Inscription: “Woodrow Wilson, 1856-1924”/ The Seal of the President of the United States

Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

Photo of Calvin Collidge shaking handsa with a baseball player at a game

Photo by Library of Congress on Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

Calvin Coolidge is buried in Plymouth Notch Cemetery in Plymouth Notch, Vermont. He was Vice-President to Warren G. Harding before unexpectedly becoming president himself, after Harding’s sudden death in 1923. President Coolidge was elected in his own right in 1924. President Coolidge chose not to run again in 1928 and died of a heart attack in 1932.

The President Calvin Coolidge Historical Site preserves his home, and birthplace, as it was during his lifetime. Plymouth Notch cemetery is only a short walk from the site.

Presidency: 1923-1929 (30)

Party: Republican

Burial Site: Plymouth Notch Cemetery (Vermont)

Inscription: "Calvin Coolidge, July 4, 1872-January 5, 1933."

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)

Photo of Franklin D. Roosevelt in a suit sitting with Winston Churchill in RAF uniform and Joseph Stalin in Soviet Soviet Union army uniform

Photo by United Kingdom Government on Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

Franklin D. Roosevelt is buried in the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, New York State.

The house, called Springwood, was President Roosevelt’s birthplace in 1882 and remained his home until his death in 1945. The longest-serving president donated his home to the United States Government in 1943, and it was designated a National Historic Site after he died. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum is situated on the estate and built under his instructions between 1939 and 1940.

Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor, are buried in the Springwood Rose Garden. President Roosevelt’s beloved Scottish terrier, Fala, is buried nearby.

Presidency: 1932-1945 (32)

Party: Democratic

Burial Site: Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park (New York)

Inscription: “Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1882-1945”

Dwight. D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)

Official White House photo of Dwight D. Eisenhower, in color, folding his arms and smiling with large American flag in the background

Photo by The White House on Wikimedia Commons

Dwight D. Eisenhower is buried in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum in Abilene, Kansas.

The Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during the Second World War, Eisenhower requested burial in the $80 U.S Government issue casket provided for ordinary soldiers. An additional glass seal inside cost a further $115.

Formal black and white photo of General Dwight D. Eisenhower in US military uniform sitting with other generals during the Second World War

Photo by National Archives and Records Administration on Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

The final resting site of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower are bronze and cement vaults in ‘The Place of Meditation’, constructed from Travertine marble and walnut woodwork opposite their former home on the Library and Museum site. Words from a prayer the President wrote for his 1953 inauguration are embroidered on a large wall hanging.

Photo of Eisenhower Grave/Place of Meditation

Photo by CSvBibra on Wikimedia Commons

Presidency: 1952-1961 (34)

Party: Republican

Burial Site: Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum ( Kansas)

Inscription: “Dwight David Eisenhower, born October 14. 1890-died March 28. 1969”

Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994)

Photo of Richard Nixon toasting a dinner with Chinese leader

Photo by Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum on Wikimedia Commons

Richard Nixon is buried in the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California.

After his resignation in 1974 President Nixon retired to California, but later lived in New Jersey. He died in 1994 after a massive stroke. President Clinton declared a Day of National Mourning and Nixon was given a state funeral, attended by all five living Presidents, in Yorba Linda.

The graves of President Nixon and his wife, Pat, can be visited at the Nixon Library.

Presidency: 1969-1974 (37)

Party: Republican

Burial Site: Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum (California)

Inscription: “Richard Nixon, 1913-1994, The greatest honor history bestow is the title of peacemaker.”

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)

Photo of Ronald Reagan in a limo with his wife cheering at his inauguration

Photo by National Archives and Records Administration on Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

Ronald Reagan is buried in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California.

After his death in 2004 President Reagan was given a state funeral in Washington D.C, before his body was returned to California, the state he had governed before becoming President in 1980.

The memorial to President Reagan is made of granite and faces the Pacific Ocean. His wife, Nancy, who died in 2016, is buried next to him. Every year on 6th February, Reagan’s birthday, there is an annual celebration of his life, which is open to the public and free to attend.

Photo of Ronald Reagan Memorial

Photo by Happyme22 on Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

Presidency: 1981-1989 (40)

Party: Republican

Burial Site: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum (California)

Inscription: “Ronald Wilson Reagan, February 6, 1911-June 5, 2004.”/ “I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there is purpose and worth to each and every life.”

George H. W. Bush (1924-1918)

Photo of George H. W. Bush delivering a speech outside

Photo by National Archives and Records Administration on Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

George H.W. Bush is buried in the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas.

President Bush Snr. died in December, 2018, a few months after his beloved wife, Barbara Bush. Bush’s state funeral was the first send-off for a former president since President Gerald Ford died in 2006.

The funeral ceremonies lasted for four days, including 2 days of lying in state in the rotunda of the Capitol Building. The funeral in Washington National Cathedral, which was attended by all five living presidents, included a fly-over in missing man formation by the United States Airforce and a eulogy by his son, President George W. Bush.

After the funeral, his body was returned to Texas for burial next to Barbara Bush at the Bush Library. The George H.W. Bush burial site was open to the public a few days later.

As per President Bush Snr’s request, the presidential anthem, "Hail to the Chief", was not played at his burial.

Presidency: 1990-1995 (41)

Party: Republican

Burial Site: George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum (Texas)

Inscription: “George H. W. Bush. June 12, 1924-Nov. 30-2018”/ “George Bush Snr. LTJG. USNR. 173464. 41st President of the United States.”

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