Today in History: The Bible and the Oath
Because January 20, the constitutionally prescribed date for presidential inaugurations, fell on a Sunday in 1985, Ronald Reagan’s public inaugural ceremony for his second term was moved to January 21. Due to bad weather, the ceremony was held in the Capitol Rotunda, the first time the oath of office was taken there.
Like many presidents, Reagan swore the oath with a Bible opened to scripture he chose. Here are some examples of Scripture passages used by various presidents.
Theodore Roosevelt, 1905—“ But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror.” James 1:22-23
Woodrow Wilson, 1917—“ God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. . .” Psalm 46
Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933, 1931, 1941, 1945—“ If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal . . .” 1 Corinthians 13
Gerald Ford, 1974—“ Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Jimmy Carter, 1977—“ He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
Ronald Reagan, 1981, 1985—“ and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
American History Parade
1789 - The first novel by an American writer published in America. The Power of Sympathy by William Hill Brown, is printed in Boston
1950 - Former State Department official Alger Hiss is convicted of perjury regarding allegations that he was a spy for the Soviet Union.
1954 - The first nuclear-powered submarine, USS Nautilus, is launched at Groton, Connecticut.
1977 - President Jimmy Carter pardons almost all Vietnam War draft evaders.