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Over which Bibles did American Presidents Take their Oaths? – 1937

Over which Bibles did American Presidents Take their Oaths? – 1937

Since 1937, the U.S. presidential inauguration has always taken place on this day. Only if this day is Sunday is the inauguration postponed for the next day (January 21).

The inauguration of the President of the United States takes place on this day (January 20) every fourth year. This was stipulated by the Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1933. Only if this day is Sunday is the inauguration postponed for the next day (January 21). Therefore, all the presidents after 1933 started their mandate on this day, except for two who started it on January 21. The inaugurations today customarily take place on the Capitol’s western front.

During the oath, the American presidents keep their hand on the Bible. Interestingly, various presidents chose different pages on which the Bible was opened. For example, Franklin Delano Roosevelt used a Bible opened to 1 Corinthians 13 (famous for referring to love). Abraham Lincoln supposedly opened the Gospel According to Matthew, on the line that states: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

It is interesting which Bibles did the presidents use. Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 used the Bible that belonged to the first president George Washington personally (it is today almost 250 years old). Bush senior also used Washington’s Bible, but his son used a copy of family’s Bible. Interestingly, when Barack Obama was sworn-in in 2013, he used two Bibles – one that was once owned by President Abraham Lincoln and one that belonged to Martin Luther King.

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