In 1968, then-Gov. Lester Maddox refused to allow the body of Martin Luther King Jr. to lie in state after the civil rights leader was assassinated.
A portrait of Coretta Scott King sat in the Capitol rotunda behind black curtains on Feb. 3, 2006 in preparation for her body to lie in state. (Ben Gray/AJC staff)
It would be another 38 years before an African American would finally lie in state as Coretta Scott King also became the first woman to be honored in 2006.
The last person to lie in state was former state Sen. Leroy Johnson, the first African American elected to Georgia’s upper chamber since Reconstruction, who died last October.
Former state Sen. Leroy Johnson and former Gov. Carl Sanders, in the state Capitol in 2008. AJC file
At 3:30 p.m. a horse-drawn carriage will carry Vivian north on Piedmont Avenue to Auburn Avenue.
Mourners are expected to line the route of the processional.
The carriage will stop at the national headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where Vivian was the director of national affiliates in the 1960s and national president in 2012.
The carriage will conclude in front of King’s crypt tomb located in Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park.
Vivian’s funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Providence Missionary Baptist Church. The services will be private, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but it will be streamed on the Providence website and through WSB-TV.