Washington: Donald J. Trump will be sworn-in as the US president on Friday using two Bibles: the one that President Abraham Lincoln used at his first inauguration, plus his own that dates back to the president-elect’s childhood.
US Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath of office to Trump, according to the 58th Presidential Inauguration Committee (PIC) which announced more details of swearing-in ceremony. “In his first inaugural address, President Lincoln appealed to the ‘better angels of our nature’," said PIC chairman Tom Barrack.
“As he takes the same oath of office 156 years later, president-elect Trump is humbled to place his hand on Bibles that hold special meaning both to his family and to our country," he added. Trump’s Bible was presented to him by his mother upon his graduation of Sunday Church Primary School at First Presbyterian Church, Jamaica, New York, on Children’s Day, 12 June 1955, a media release said.
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The Bible is a revised standard version published by Thomas Nelson and Sons in New York in 1953 and is embossed with his name on the lower portion of the front cover. The inside cover is signed by church officials and is inscribed with his name and the details of when it was presented. The Lincoln Bible was purchased for the first inauguration of President Lincoln by William Thomas Carroll, Clerk of the Supreme Court. The Bible is bound in burgundy velvet with a gold-washed white metal rim along the edges of the covers. It is part of the collections of the Library of Congress and has been used at three inaugurals: 1861, 2009, and 2013.
Outgoing US President Barack Obama had used Lincoln’s Bible for his inaugurations in 2009 and 2013. On the other hand, vice-president-elect Mike Pence would take oath using The Reagan Family Bible. Associate justice of the Supreme Court Clarence Thomas will administer the Oath of Office to him on 20 January.
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“President Reagan placed his faith in a loving God and the goodness of our country. He set out to change a nation and in doing so, he changed the world. In the march of history, Ronald Reagan’s time in office was limited, but his legacy inspired a generation and will continue beyond," Pence said. “It will be humbling to enter office with President Donald Trump, standing next to my family, with my wife Karen holding the same Bible used by President Reagan when he took office," he said.
The Bible that Pence will place his right hand upon was used by Reagan for his gubernatorial and presidential inaugurations. This marks the first time a person other than Reagan has used it at an inauguration. The Reagan Family Bible has never been out of the possession of the Reagan family or the Reagan Foundation, and is currently on permanent display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California.