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Some 1,500 Mourners View Nancy Reagan's Casket

5 p.m. -- (AP) About 1,500 people had visited Nancy Reagan's casket at a public viewing and more than 1,000 were still waiting to see her, but the setting as visitors stood before the casket was quiet and intimate.

The groups in the room with Mrs. Reagan at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library were kept deliberately small, and people said they had no sense of being rushed or hustled through as they stood before the casket.

One man, Daniel Blatt, was crying as he walked away. He said it was the thought of the Reagans' love story that moved him.

Another woman, Mariann Tatum, visited twice, once at the beginning of the viewing and again with her daughter about three hours later. Tatum lives in Simi Valley where the library is located and said the Reagans are part of life in the community.

Library officials said they had to increase the number of buses taking visitors to the hilltop library from 10 to 15 to handle all the people wanting to pay respects.


3:40 p.m. -- (AP) More than 1,000 people paid their respects in person to the late former first lady Nancy Reagan in the first two hours of a public viewing.

Officials at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, said 1,016 members of the public passed by Nancy Reagan's casket between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The figure doesn't include family and friends who have also paid their respects.

Many more people are still waiting to take part in the viewing that continues until 7 p.m. and resumes on Thursday.

Shuttle buses are bringing mourners a few dozen at a time to the hilltop presidential library.

Nancy Reagan died Sunday at her Los Angeles home. She was 94.


Original Post — (AP) Katie Couric, Chris Matthews, Newt Gingrich, Wayne Newton and Mr. T will be among the mourners attending Friday's funeral for Nancy Reagan.

Three days of solemn ceremonies for the former first lady begin Wednesday.

The Ronald Reagan Foundation says a private family service Wednesday morning will be conducted by The Rev. Stuart Kenworthy, vicar of Washington National Cathedral, who will also officiate the funeral.

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

Also attending Friday's service will be Capt. Christopher Bolt, commanding officer of the USS Ronald Reagan.

Nancy Reagan will be laid to rest next to President Ronald Reagan on the grounds of the library.