“President-elect Trump is humbled to place his hand on Bibles that hold special meaning both to his family and to our country.”
President Donald Trump will swear in as president on a Bible used by Abraham Lincoln during his first inauguration as president.
The Lincoln Bible is currently part of the Library of Congress collection and was used by Obama to swear in as president after the 2008 and 2012 elections. Only Obama and Lincoln have used that copy of the Bible to swear the oath of office.
“In his first inaugural address, President Lincoln appealed to the ‘better angels of our nature,’” said Presidential Inauguration Committee 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.”
According to a statement from the Inauguration committee, Trump will also use his family Bible that was given to him by his mother after he graduated from Sunday Church Primary School at First Presbyterian Church in 1955.
Do presidents have to swear in on a Bible? No—but the list of those who haven’t is pretty short.
Theodore Roosevelt didn’t have a Bible when he was sworn in as president in 1901, though his inauguration was less than celebratory; after all, President William McKinley was shot a week earlier and died of his wounds on Sept. 14. (Roosevelt was sworn in as the new president later that day in Buffalo, N.Y.)
John Adams, the 10th president of the United States, also didn’t swear on a Bible for his inauguration but rather he took the oath on a book of law. It is also worth noting that Adams also broke tradition by being the first president sworn in while wearing long trousers and not knee breeches.