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 Wednesday 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.