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Obama to take oath on Lincoln's Bible

world Updated: Dec 24, 2008 11:44 IST

US president-elect Barack Obama will be sworn into office with the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln used for his oath taking ceremony in 1861.

The move further extends the parallels that Obama has drawn with Lincoln since he announced his candidacy for president in February 2007 in Springfield, Illionis, the online edition of The New York Times said on Tuesday.

This will be the first time an incoming president has used Lincoln’s Bible, which is part of the collection at the Library of Congress. New US presidents are not required to swear in on a Bible, but most have done so, and most use their own family Bible.

Obama has identified with Lincoln throughout his campaign and quotes him often. He also plans to follow Lincoln and take the train to Washington for his inauguration, following Lincoln’s route from Philadelphia to Washington.

The Bible that Lincoln was sworn-in on was not the family Bible, which was packed away with his family’s belongings and still en route from Springfield.

So William Thomas Carroll, Clerk of the Supreme Court, bought this Bible specifically for Lincoln’s swearing-in ceremony March 4, 1861. The 1,280-page Bible was published in 1853 by the Oxford University Press.

The Bible is bound in burgundy velvet with a gold-washed white metal rim around the three outside edges of both covers, according to the official description.