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Obama to use Chicago Bible in inauguration

Jan. 10, 2013 at 5:28 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama will be sworn in to his second term on Jan. 20 using a Bible from Chicago that Michelle Obama's father gave his mother, officials said.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee said Thursday the Bible, which officials have called the "Robinson Family Bible," was a gift to the first lady's grandmother for Mother's Day in 1958, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Michelle Obama's grandmother was the first African-American manager of a Moody Bible Institute bookstore, inaugural officials said.

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are to be privately sworn in Jan. 20, followed by the public ceremony the next day. For the public event, Obama will use the Bible Martin Luther King used as a young minister, the King family said Wednesday.

King's "traveling Bible" will be placed on top of the more elaborate velvet and gilded Bible used by Abraham Lincoln at his 1861 inauguration. Obama used the Lincoln Bible in 2009.

King would have been "deeply moved" by having Obama use his Bible, the King family said in a statement.

"With the Inauguration less than two weeks away, we join Americans across the country in embracing this opportunity to celebrate how far we have come, honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. through service, and rededicate ourselves to the work ahead," the family said.

Presidents Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon all used two Bibles at their inaugurations.

Obama has broken with tradition by inviting Myrlie Evers-Williams, whose first husband, Medger Evers, was assassinated in 1963, to give the invocation. She will be the first woman and the first person not a member of the clergy to do so.

Biden will use his own family Bible, which he used in 2009 as well.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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