Jim Young / Reuters
President Obama, shown here being sworn in for his first term on Jan. 20, 2009, will be using a Bible formerly owned by Martin Luther King Jr. as part of the swearing-in ceremony for his second term on Jan. 20.
President Obama will use three Bibles in the swearing-in ceremonies for his second term.
On Jan. 20, the day his term officially begins, Obama will take the oath of office on a family Bible that belonged to his in-laws. The Bible was a 1958 Mother’s Day gift from Michelle Obama’s father, Fraser Robinson III, to his own mother, LaVaughn Delores Robinson, who worked as a manager in the Moody Bible Institute’s bookstore.
Since the 20th falls on a Sunday, Obama will be sworn in again during a public ceremony the following day. During that ceremony, he will place his hand on the Bible used by Abraham Lincoln during his first inaugural — the same Bible he used in 2009. Since the 21st is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Obama will also use a Bible that Dr. King carried with him during his travels. King also used the Bible when he was pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala.
“We know our father would be deeply moved to see President Obama take the Oath of Office using his Bible,” King’s children said in a statement. “His ‘traveling bible’ inspired him as he fought for freedom, justice and equality, and we hope it can be a source of strength for the President as he begins his second term. 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.”