Jan 10, 2013 12:46 PM by Karlisa Galarza

Historic bibles chosen for swearing-in ceremonies

WASHINGTON, DC- The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) press release announced the Bibles that President Obama and Vice President Biden will be using at their swearing-in ceremonies on January 20th and January 21st.

President Obama will be using the Robinson Family Bible when he takes the oath on Sunday. On Monday, however, he will be using two different Bibles during his oath of office: the Bible used by President Lincoln at his first Inauguration and a Bible used by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In 2009, President Obama became the first President sworn in with the Lincoln Bible since its original use in 1861. The Lincoln Bible is part of the Library of Congress book collection and was originally purchased by William Thomas Carroll, Clerk of the Supreme Court, to be used during Lincoln's swearing-in ceremony.

The King Bible was Dr. King's "traveling bible." The Bible was frequently used by Dr. King for motivation and to prepare sermons and speeches.

The Press Release states, "We know our father would be deeply moved to see President Obama take the Oath of Office using his bible," said Dr. King's children. "His ‘traveling bible' inspired him as he fought for freedom, justice and equality, and we hope it can be a source of strength for the President as he begins his second term."

Vice President Biden will be sworn in using the Biden Family Bible. He used it every time he was sworn in as a United States Senator and when he was sworn in as Vice President in 2009.

Presidents have traditionally used a Bible for the ceremony, choosing a volume with special or historical significance, although there is no constitutional obligation for the use of a Bible during the swearing-in.


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