Abraham Lincoln’s Inaugural Bible

By Betsy Thorpe

In six days President-elect Barack Obama will take office. In the days leading up to the inauguration I will post a series of articles on presidential inaugurations, Past And Present.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

On March 4, 1861 Abraham Lincoln placed his hand on a Bible bound in burgandy velvet as he was sworn into office as the nations sixteenth president. The Bible was purchased specifically for Lincoln’s inauguration by Supreme Court clerk, William Thomas Carrol.

On January 20, 2009 the President-elect will place his hand on Lincoln’s inaugural Bible as he takes the oath of office. The use of Lincoln’s Bible in the swearing-in ceremony of Barack Obama will symbolically mark the end of a shameful era in United States history.


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