Little Known Black History Fact: Presidential Inauguration

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  • Today marks the day that we observe the birthday of Nobel Peace Prize winner, scholar and activist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  The holiday symbolizes the struggle and courage of a civil rights leader who had hoped the nations would come together in peace. This is also the day that the nations’ first black president, Barack Obama, will be publicly sworn in for his second term as the 44th President of the United States.

    The president was privately sworn in yesterday at 11:55 EST in the blue room of the White House. He used the family Bible belonging to Michelle Obama, the country’s leading black First Lady. The Bible was the property of her grandmother, LaVaughn Delores Robinson.

    Today, for the first time in history, the president will be sworn in with two Bibles. The first Bible belonged to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the other is the property of President Abraham Lincoln. Dr. King’s Bible is the same Bible used for his first sermon at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in 1950. President Obama will also face the Lincoln Memorial in honor of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” which took place there 50 years ago.

    Monday’s inauguration ceremony will also mark the second time a U.S. president has been sworn into office four times. President Obama was sworn in twice in 2008 after Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. fumbled the oath of office during the public ceremony. The other president to encounter four swearing-ins was President Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, the former president had been elected four times.

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