President Bush, members of Congress and ordinary Americans paid tribute to Rosa Parks under the soaring dome of the Capitol Rotunda on Sunday, honouring the woman whose defiant act on a city bus challenged segregation in the South and inspired the civil rights movement.
Parks, a former seamstress, became the first woman to lie in honour in the Rotunda, sharing an honour bestowed upon Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and other national leaders.
Bush and congressional leaders paused to lay wreaths by her casket, while members of a university choir greeted her with "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."
Outside the Capitol, as flags flew at half-mast, thousands of people awaited the chance to pay their respects, some arriving before noon.
The crowd cheered loudly when the motorcade, led by Parks' hearse and a vintage Washington DC Metro bus, arrived.
Her casket was carried from the hearse by a military honour guard while family members and friends outside the steps leading up to the Capitol prayed.
President Bush, who was not speaking during the brief ceremony, issued a proclamation on Sunday ordering the US flag to be flown at half-mast over all public buildings on Wednesday, the day of Parks' funeral and burial in Detroit.
Parks, who died last Monday, was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man.
Among those who supported her was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who led the 381-day boycott of the Montgomery, Alabama, bus system that helped initiate the modern civil rights movement.
At St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Montgomery on Sunday, where Parks had been lying in honour at the church since Saturday, a crowd including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice celebrated her life.