Posted by: MTR | January 18, 2010

Presidential Oaths of Office

Presidential Oath of Office

Scripture Passages used
More evidence of America‘s Christian Heritage

George Washington 1789 Genesis 49:13 [Note 1] (Masonic Bible); opened at random due to haste
George Washington 1793 Not known

John Adams 1797 Not known

Thomas Jefferson 1801, 1805 Not known

James Madison 1809, 1813 Not known

James Monroe 1817, 1821 Not known

John Quincy Adams 1825 Not known

Andrew Jackson 1829, 1833 Not known

Martin Van Buren 1837 Proverbs 3:17 [Note 2]

William H. Harrison 1841 Not known

John Tyler 1841 Not known

James K. Polk 1845 Not known

Zachary Taylor 1849 Not known

Millard Fillmore 1850 Not known

Franklin Pierce 1853 Affirmed instead of swearing the oath; did not kiss Bible

James Buchanan 1857 Not known

Abraham Lincoln 1861 Opened at random
Abraham Lincoln 1865 Matthew 7:1; 18:7; Revelations 16:7 [Note 3]

Andrew Johnson 1865 Proverbs 21

Ulysses S. Grant 1869 Not known
Ulysses S. Grant 1873 Isaiah 11:1-3 [Note 4]

Rutherford B. Hayes 1877 Privately, no Bible; publicly, Psalm 118:11-13 [Note 4]

James A. Garfield 1881 Proverbs 21:1 [Notes 4,5]

Chester A. Arthur 1881 Privately, no Bible; Psalm 31:1-3 [Notes 4,5]

Grover Cleveland 1885 Psalm 112:4-10; Bible opened by Chief Justice and by chance it fell to this [Note 6]

Benjamin Harrison 1889 Psalm 121:1-6 [Note 4]

Grover Cleveland 1893 Psalm 91:12-16 [Note 4]

William McKinley 1897 II Chron. 1:10; Bible given to him by Methodist church congregation [Note 7]
William McKinley 1901 Proverbs 16 [Note 4]

Theodore Roosevelt 1901 No Bible
Theodore Roosevelt 1905 James 1:22-23 [Note 4]

William Howard Taft 1909 I Kings 3:9-11 [Note 4]

Woodrow Wilson 1913 Psalm 119 [Note 4]
Woodrow Wilson 1917 Privately, not known; publicly, Psalm 46 [Note 8]

Warren G. Harding 1921 Micah 6:8 (Washington Bible) [Note 4]

Calvin Coolidge 1923 Not known
Calvin Coolidge 1925 John 1

Herbert C. Hoover 1929 Proverbs 29:18 [Note 4]

Franklin D. Roosevelt 1933, 1937, 1941, 1945 I Corinthians 13 [Note 4]

Harry S. Truman 1945 Closed Bible held in left hand; right hand on upper cover [Note 9]
Harry S. Truman 1949 Matthew 5:3-11 and Exodus 20:3-17 [Note 10]

Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953 Psalm 127:1 (Washington Bible) and
II Chronicles 7:14
(West Point Bible) [Note 11]
Dwight D. Eisenhower 1957 Privately, not known; publicly, Psalm 33:12 [Note 12] (West Point Bible)

John F. Kennedy 1961 Closed Bible [Note 13]

Lyndon B. Johnson 1963 Missal [Note 14]
Lyndon B. Johnson 1965 Closed family Bible [Note 15]

Richard M. Nixon 1969, 1973 Two family Bibles, both open to Isaiah 2:4 [Note 16]

Gerald R. Ford 1974 Proverbs 3:5-6 [Note 17]

James E. Carter 1977 Family Bible open to Micah 6:8 [Note 18]

Ronald W. Reagan 1981, 1985 Mother’s Bible open to II Chronicles 7:14 [Note 19] (Both privately and publicly in 1985)

George H. W. Bush 1989 Washington’s Masonic Bible opened at random in the center; family Bible on top opened to Matthew 5

William J. Clinton 1993 King James Bible, given to him by grandmother, open to Galatians 6:8
William J. Clinton 1997 King James Bible, given to him by grandmother, open to Isaiah 58:12 [Note 20]

George W. Bush 2001 Closed family Bible [Note 21]

NOTES
1. Bowen, Clarence W. The History of the Centennial Celebration of the Inauguration of George Washington, N.Y. 1892, p. 72, Illustration.
2. Listed in the files of Legislative Reference Service, Library of Congress, source not given.
3. Wright, John. Historic Bibles in America, N.Y. 1905, p. 46.
4. List compiled by Clerk of the Supreme Court, 1939.
5. One source (The Chicago Daily Tribune, Sept. 23, 1881, p. 5) says that Garfield and Arthur used the same passage, but does not indicate which one.
6. Hutchins, Stilson. The National Capitol, Washington, 1885, p. 276.
7. Harper’s Magazine, August 1897.
8. Senate Document 116, 65th Congress, 1st Session, 1917.
9. New York Times, Apr. 13, 1945, p. 1, col. 7.
10. Facts on File, Jan. 16-22, 1949, p. 21.
11. New York Times, Jan. 21, 1953, p. 19.
12. New York Times, Jan. 22, 1957, p. 16.
13. New York Times, Jan. 21, 1961, p. 8, col. 1.
14. Mooney, Booth. The Lyndon Johnson Story, p. 1.
15. Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court via phone July 1968.
16. Washington Post, Jan. 20, 1969, p. A1.
17. New York Times, Aug. 10, 1974, p. A1.
18. Washington Post, Jan. 21, 1977, p. A17.
19. White House Curator’s Office.
20. Washington Post, Jan. 21, 1997, p. A14.
21. Inauguration staff. George W. Bush had hoped to use the Masonic Bible that had been used both by George Washington in 1789, and by the President’s father, George H. W. Bush, in 1989. This historic Bible had been transported, under guard, from New York to Washington for the inauguration but, due to inclement weather, a family Bible was substituted instead

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