Presidential Inaugurations and the Bible: Barack Obama

Did you know there’s no constitutional requirement that a Bible be used in taking the oath of office?

President Obama used three Bibles for his second inaugural in 2013.

January 20 fell on Sunday that year, so he was officially sworn in at the White House, using a Bible belonging to Michelle Obama’s grandmother.

St the public ceremony the next day, the President used two significant Bibles--the Lincoln Bible and Martin Luther King's "traveling" Bible--to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in 1963, where King quoted a number of biblical passages in his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, including Amos 5:24: "We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Engage with the Bible—this Book of all books!

Share

More Book Minute Features

February 18, 2019

President’s Day 2019

U.S. Presidents, from a range of religious backgrounds, have frequently quoted the Bible in speeches, acknowledging the influence of the Bible in thei...
February 11, 2019

Black History Month: Fannie Lou Hamer

As a civil rights activist in the 1960s, Fannie Lou Hamer helped focus attention on the plight of African Americans. She came into the national spotli...
February 04, 2019

Black History Month: Henry Ossawa Tanner

Henry Ossawa Tanner was one of the most distinguished artists of the 19th century, and the first African American artist recognized internationally fo...

Click to Expand