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Chronicles: Who is Buried in Grant’s Tomb?

frontWho is buried in Grant’s tomb is perhaps the lamest joke America has ever collectively created. The answer? No one is buried in Grant’s tomb because Grant wasn’t buried, he was entombed above ground along with his wife Julia. Told you it was lame.
When President Ulysses S. Grant died in 1885, over 1 million people attended his 7 mile long funeral parade including both Confederate and Union generals, all the Justices of the Supreme Court, and virtually the entire Congress with U.S. President Grover Cleveland in the lead. When Grant was reburied entombed in New York in 1887, the crowd was nearly as big with President William McKinley leading the way.
The monument built for President Grant was designed by architect John Duncan as an homage to the tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus, one of the seven wonders of the world and is indeed, the largest mausoleum in the North America. The site is located in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, in Riverside Park and is on the National Register of Historic Places, run by the National Park Service; it was President Grant who signed the act establishing the first national park, Yellowstone. In the 1980s, the Park Service allowed the tomb to fall into disgraceful disrepair, allowing graffiti and vandalism but in the late 80s and into the 90s, the Civil War became a popular topic with the films Glory and the Ken Burns documentary The Civil War which led to a resurgence of interest in the tomb. After seeing it’s ramshackle state, there was a public outcry with Grant’s descendants threatening to move the bodies to Illinois, Grant’s home state, and the National Parks Service was forced to spend 1.8 million on repairs.

Today, the tomb is used by the New York City Navy ROTC for ceremonies and will see even more improvements in the future with plans for a new visitor’s center.
Grant’s Tomb
New York, NY 10027

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