Daily Archives: January 21, 2013

Monday, 1/21/13, Public Square

Inauguration 2013

The theme of the 2013 Inauguration is “Faith in America’s Future”


This year is the 50th anniversary of the Martin Luther King March on Washington and 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The U.S. Constitution requires that the President of the United States must be sworn into office by noon on January 20.  January 20 fell on a Sunday and an inauguration cannot be held on a Sunday.  So the 2013 Inauguration will be held today, on a federal holiday, the birthday of fallen Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., making January 21 a doubly special day as the first African American president is sworn in for his second term.

President Obama will use three different Bibles for his oaths. For the private ceremony on Sunday, he used the Bible belonging to Michelle Obama’s family, the Robinsons.  It was a gift from Michelle Obama’s Father to her Mother on Mother’s Day in 1958.

At the official inauguration today, the President will put his hand on two Bibles, stacked on top of one another, the Lincoln Bible he used four years ago and one that belonged to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The King Bible is known as Dr. King’s traveling Bible that he used as inspiration for sermons and speeches when he was on the road.

The Lincoln Bible is on loan from the Library of Congress and was purchased to be used in 1861 for Lincoln’s first inauguration. An ornate Bible, it is bound in burgundy velvet with a gold-washed metal rim and the pages are gilt trimmed.  In 2009, President Obama was the first person sworn in as president with his hand on the Lincoln Bible.

At the end of this day President Obama will have taken the oath of office four different times.  In 2008 Chief Justice Roberts scrambled some of of the words of the oath so it was redone later.


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