The Bible and the Presidents who use them

Posted: February 12, 2009 in Networking, Religion Potpourri, Snap, Crackle and POP Culture, Testify
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

WOW News and the UK’s Times Online Madame Bess Twiston Davies pens routine enshrined epiphanies on the Bible and sanctimonious satire that often makes you think and smirk all at the same time.

But this one inspired from the BarackStar’s inaugural oath made my history pants go crazy. This is grandiose, and quite useless, information.

So, if you are half the antiquity dork that I am, enjoy these facts to be heard extolled from the great Alex Trebek on a TV near you soon. Thanks for this transcript, Bess. Who knew?

1. The Bible used by George Washington was printed in London in 1767, bound in maroon Morrocan leather and finished with silver clasps. It was later used by Warren G Harding (Baptist), in 1921, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 and in 1989 by George W. Bush (an Episcopalian).

2. Lyndon Baines Johnson took the oath of office on November 22, 1963 on board an Air Force One airplane using the Catholic missal found in the desk of the just-assassinated John F. Kennedy. At his 1965 inauguration Johnson’s wife held the Bible as her husband took the oath, the first time a first lady had done so.

3. Two-handers: Some presidents have used two Bibles to take the oath of Office: Richard Nixon (in office 1969-1974); Dwight G. Eisenhower (1953-1961) George Bush Snr (1989-1993).

4. Harry Truman (1945 – 1953) was the last president to kiss the Bible after taking the oath of office.

5. Family affair: Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) used his mother Nelle’s Bible. Bill Clinton (1993-2001) used the Bible which had belonged to Edith Cassidy, his maternal grandmother.

6. John Quincy Adams (1825-9) refused to use a Bible to take the oath of office in 1825. He thought it too sacred for use in politics, so instead swore the oath with his hand upon a law book containing America’s Constitution. Theodore Roosevelt, a member of the Dutch Reformed Church, also shunned the Bible when taking in 1901 his first Oath of Office. But he did use it on starting his second term as president in 1905.

7. William McKinley (1897-1901) used a Bible given him by the congregation at his Methodist Church to take his oath in 1897.

8. Franklin Pierce (1853-57) an Episcopalian did use a Bible to take office in 1853, but rather than swearing an oath he made a statement of affirmation.

9. Closed book: Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Bush Jnr kept the Bible firmly shut during their swearing in to office. It is customary for the incoming president to select a favourite verse, usually a psalm of proverb.

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