News Column

Obama to Use Martin Luther King's Bible

Jan 10, 2013

President Obama plans to take the oath of office this month on the Bible Martin Luther King used as a young minister, the King family said Wednesday.

The White House is expected to announce Thursday King's "traveling Bible" will be placed on top of the more elaborate velvet and gilded Bible used by Abraham Lincoln at his 1861 inauguration. Obama used the Lincoln Bible in 2009.

King would have been "deeply moved" by having Obama use his Bible, the King family said in a statement.

"With the Inauguration less than two weeks away, we join Americans across the country in embracing this opportunity to celebrate how far we have come, honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. through service, and rededicate ourselves to the work ahead," the family said.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are to be privately sworn in Sunday, Jan. 20, followed by the public ceremony the next day. For that event, Obama will use a Bible his wife's father gave to his wife, while Biden will use his own family Bible every time he takes the oath.

Presidents Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon all used two Bibles at their inaugurations.

Obama has broken with tradition by inviting Myrlie Evers-Williams, whose first husband, Medger Evers, was assassinated in 1963, to give the invocation. She will be the first woman and the first person not a member of the clergy to do so.

Source: Copyright United Press International 2013

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