Barack Obama took the oath of office of president of the United States on Tuesday using the same Bible that was used to swear in Abraham Lincoln.
Barack Obama, left, joined by his wife Michelle, third from left, and daughters Sasha, fourth from left, and Malia, takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts to become the 44th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. [AP Photo]
Obama was the first president sworn in using the Lincoln Bible since its initial use in 1861. The Bible is part of the collections of the Library of Congress.
Though there is no constitutional requirements for the use of a Bible during the swearing-in, presidents have traditionally used Bibles for the ceremony, choosing a volume with personal or historical significance.
Obama smiled while his wife Michelle held up the Bible for him to put his left hand on and take the oath, administered by the U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts.
The Lincoln Bible was originally purchased by William Thomas Carroll, Clerk of the Supreme Court. Lincoln used it because his family Bible was unavailable for the ceremony, as it was packed with other belongings that were still en route to their new home at the White House.
The Bible is bound in burgundy velvet with a gold-washed white metal rim around the three outside edges of both covers. All its edges are heavily gilded. The 1,280-page Bible was published in 1853 by the Oxford University Press.
Obama has openly expressed his admiration for Lincoln, from whom he said inspirations could be drawn at a time when the nation was faced with multiple crises.
(Xinhua News Agency January 20, 2009)