Obama to swear-in on a stack of historic Bibles
January 10th, 2013
11:39 AM ET
1 year ago

Obama to swear-in on a stack of historic Bibles

(CNN) – What do the 16th president, a civil rights leader, and Michelle Obama's grandmother have in common? Their Bibles will be used in the second inauguration of President Barack Obama.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) made the announcement on Thursday that Obama will take the oath of office on the Robinson family Bible on Sunday and on the Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. Bibles on Monday.


The 20th Amendment designated January 20 as Inauguration Day. But traditionally, when inauguration falls on a Sunday, the president takes the oath privately on January 20 and in a public ceremony on January 21.

"President Obama is honored to use these Bibles at the swearing-in ceremonies," said Steve Kerrigan, President and CEO of the Presidential Inaugural Committee. "On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, this historic moment is a reflection of the extraordinary progress we've made as a nation."

The first lady's father Fraser Robinson III gifted the Bible to his mother LaVaughn Delores Robinson for Mother's Day in 1958. The King Bible was the civil rights leader's "traveling bible," the holy book he used as he prepared for sermons and speeches on the road. And the Lincoln Bible, on loan from the Library of Congress, was originally purchased by William Thomas Carroll, clerk of the Supreme Court, for use during Lincoln's inauguration on March 4, 1861.

Obama took the oath on the same Lincoln Bible at his first inauguration in 2009.

The PIC also announced that for his inauguration, Vice President Joe Biden will use the Biden family Bible. The five-inch thick book with a Celtic cross on the cover has been in the family since 1893. Biden used the family bible when he was sworn in as a senator and as vice president in 2009.


Filed under: Inauguration • President Obama
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Oh, boy. Conspiracy theorists are going to have a field day with this.

    January 10, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. Abbot

    A man of faith just needs one bible.

    January 10, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    How wonderful. Every day I thank the voters of the US who understood what the twit and his rethugs are about and we gave the President four more years!!! :)
    Nos we have to take it down to the lower levels of state government starting with governors who lie (I.e. Michigan)

    January 10, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  4. Larry L

    The mention of the terms "Bible" and "Obama" in the same sentence will elicit some crazy responses from the right-wing religious community. Here we go...

    January 10, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. lolo

    Yes here come the crazy republicans with their nonsense. When are they moving to that moon colony old Newtie was talking about?

    January 10, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Al-NY,NY

    PatheticCNN

    Obama is going to recitle Quran by Swearing on Bible.
    -------–

    I see the moronic comments are in full swing....hey Pathetic (a good description of you), no Kenyan additions? You and the rest of the low-iq squad must be slipping. Try harder next time

    January 10, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. Malory Archer

    PatheticCNN

    Obama is going to recitle Quran by Swearing on Bible.

    January 10, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |

    Rudy NYC

    Oh, boy. Conspiracy theorists are going to have a field day with this.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Haters gotta hate.

    January 10, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Steve in CT

    A man without religion is like a fish without a bicycle

    January 10, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    I'm actually wondering why the so called separation of church and state hasn't complained.

    January 10, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Anonymous

    I'm actually wondering why the so called separation of church and state hasn't complained.
    ----------
    Why should that be an issue? He could be sworn in with his hand on a countertop. There is no requirement that oaths of office must be taken on a Christian Bible that I'm aware of. I would assume that the choice or religious text is up to the swearee. If using a text gives the swearee unification of moral purpose, then what's the issue?

    January 10, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    "Haters gotta hate."

    One wonders how these haters manage to make it through their daily lives mentally intact.

    January 10, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. Tony

    JUst another Obama show/gimmick. It is all he seems to have.

    January 10, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. ST

    @ Abbot
    A man of faith just needs one bible
    ---------
    I know very little about faith. Is your bible different from others? I thought all contain the same script, as I witnessed this one day I accompanied my friend to church and the Pastor told us to open at a certain page, of which we all did.

    January 10, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. Judi

    I just don't understand why people have to be so vindictive in these comments. Mr. Obama is just a man like every other man who has ideals and convictions. He just had the bad luck to be elected President of the USA. I would not have his thankless job. It doesn't matter what he says or does it is always wrong to someone and causes these bigoted and hateful things about him to be said. If you are so bitter why don't you run for office and try to make changes. So funny that you hidebehind words and not actions. And of course no real names.

    January 10, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |