A historical look - the choice of Bible for the oath of office is a significant part of inauguration

The choice of Bible for the oath of office is a little-known piece of history, as are the passages presidents chose to have open during the oath. 

According to the Associated Press: 

 
"A suburban Atlanta man restored a Bible that belonged to Martin Luther King Jr. so that it can be used in President Barack Obama's inauguration today.
 
Gordon Ponsford of Acworth contracted with the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change to prepare the Bible for Obama's inauguration ceremony.
 
Ponsford said the work involved reattaching leather to the slain civil rights leader's traveling Bible.
 
Ponsford's assistant, Julie Julian of Wildwood, compared the work to taking a raggedy doll and making it look new again."
 
From the very first president of the United States - George Washington - Bibles have been an important part of the inauguration ceremony, and presidents have typically put thought into the passage that they'll have open while taking the oath of office.
 
You'll notice that President Obama used a Bible during his inauguration ceremony last year, but not during the private repeat of the event the next day. This year, he took his official oath of office last year, using his wife's family Bible. 
 
Scroll down to see the full history created by Scripps Howard News Service digital journalist Danielle Alberti. Use your mouse to move throughout history and click on a president's name to learn more about how they used the Bible - and in one notable example, didn't - during their inauguration ceremonies. 
 

 

 

Created by SHNS digital journalist Danielle Alberti.

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