Rumor: Obama using MLK & Lincoln Bibles for inauguration

It's true. President Barack Obama will be using not one, but two bibles during his inauguration oath – one owned by Martin Luther King Jr., and the other by Abraham Lincoln.

CONFIRMED: President Barack Obama will be placing his hand on two Bibles while taking the oath of office for his second term – one that belonged to Martin Luther King Jr. and the other to Abraham Lincoln. The president will be using the two Bibles in honor of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of King’s march on Washington.

Symbolic gesture

Using King's Bible for his inauguration oath is particularly symbolic since Obama's inauguration falls on Jan. 21, a federal holiday to honor the civil rights leader known for delivering the "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial 50 years ago. According to media reports, Obama will be facing the memorial as he takes the oath. The President has asked Americans to volunteer in their communities on Jan. 19 to honor King.

Obama used the burgundy velvet Lincoln Bible while taking oath four years ago, the first time it had been used since Lincoln’s own swearing in in 1861. Obama will be using first lady Michelle Obama's family Bible for a private swearing in on Jan. 20.

"Traveling Bible"

King's Bible is called the "traveling Bible" by his children because he carried it with him when he was on the road. "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 provided by the inaugural committee. "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."

Vice President Joe Biden will be using a family Bible with a Celtic cross on the cover – something he has used since he was sworn into federal office 40 years.

 

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