Weird History
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Photos Of Historical Leaders Who Had Open Casket Funerals

Updated June 14, 2019 142.8k views20 items

Lying in state is a common tradition for famous fallen leaders. Getting one last look at a dead celebrity or political leader gives people closure. Pictures of presidents lying in state, as well as dictators, heads of social movements, kings, and queens, can be heartwarming and creepy, depending on how their bodies are preserved and presented. Preparing a dead body can be tricky but the list of embalmed world leaders includes some very prominent names including Eva Peron and Vladimir Lenin. Here are some notable leaders through history that were presented to the public for one final goodbye. 

  • Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (; 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India's independence from British Rule, and in turn inspire movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahātmā (Sanskrit: "high-souled", "venerable"), first applied to him in 1914 in South Africa, is now used throughout the world. Born and raised in a Hindu family in coastal Gujarat, western India, and trained in law at the Inner Temple, London, Gandhi first employed nonviolent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 78 (1869-1948)
    • Birthplace: Porbandar, India
    • Cause Of Death: Assassination by firearm
  • Pope John Paul II (Latin: Ioannes Paulus II; Italian: Giovanni Paolo II; Polish: Jan Paweł II; born Karol Józef Wojtyła [ˈkarɔl ˈjuzɛv vɔjˈtɨwa]; 18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005) was the Pope of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 to 2005. He was elected pope by the second Papal conclave of 1978, which was called after Pope John Paul I, who had been elected in August to succeed Pope Paul VI, died after 33 days. Cardinal Wojtyła was elected on the third day of the conclave and adopted the name of his predecessor in tribute to him. John Paul II is recognised as helping to end Communist rule in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe. John Paul II...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 84 (1920-2005)
    • Birthplace: Wadowice, Poland
    • Cause Of Death: Myocardial infarction, Parkinson's disease
  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand Carl Ludwig Joseph Maria, Archduke of Austria-Este (18 December 1863 – 28 June 1914) was a member of the Imperial Habsburg dynasty, and from 1896 until his death the heir presumptive (Thronfolger) to the Austro-Hungarian throne.It is said that his assassination in Sarajevo precipitated Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia, which in turn triggered a series of events that eventually led to Austria-Hungary's allies and Serbia's declaring war on each other, starting World War I....  more
    • Age: Dec. at 50 (1863-1914)
    • Birthplace: Graz, Austria
    • Cause Of Death: Firearm, Assassination
  • Malcolm X (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965) was an American Muslim minister and human rights activist who was a popular figure during the civil rights movement. He is best known for his controversial advocacy for the rights of blacks; some consider him a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans, while others accused him of preaching racism and violence. Born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, he relocated to New York City's Harlem neighborhood in 1943, after spending his teenage years in a series of foster homes following his father's death and his mother's hospitalization. In New York, Little engaged in several illicit activities, and was...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 39 (1925-1965)
    • Birthplace: North Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America
    • Cause Of Death: Ballistic trauma, Assassination