Obama to take oath on Lincoln Bible

Dec. 23, 2008 at 11:02 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Barack Obama will be sworn in as U.S. president using a Bible President Abraham Lincoln used, officials close to the inauguration committee said.

While the Presidential Inaugural Committee declined comment, two sources familiar with the process told The Washington Post that Obama will use one of two Lincoln Bibles in the Library of Congress when he takes the oath of office to become the country's 44th president.

Obama has drawn on the 16th president several times -- from announcing his candidacy on the steps of the old statehouse in Springfield, Ill., where Lincoln also began his bid, to drawing upon Lincoln's views when filling Cabinet posts.

Obama has two Bibles at his disposal. The Lincoln family took one from Illinois when they moved to Washington in 1861 but it was packed away and wasn't found in time to be used in Lincoln's first inaugural ceremony, so a substitute Bible was used.

At least two other Lincoln Bibles are kept outside Washington. A family Bible is at his birthplace in Kentucky while a Bible presented to Lincoln by African-Americans after the president signed the Emancipation Proclamation is in the archives at Fisk University in Nashville.

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