The Museum of the Bible, set to open in Washington later this year, posted a series of videos on social media about Bibles used by various presidents for the oath. Among the historical facts noted:
— Harry Truman took his oaths in 1945 and 1949 on a Bible opened to The Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12. In 1949, he also used a copy of the Guttenberg Bible opened to the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17.
— Lyndon Johnson took his 1965 oath on a Bible given to him by his mother, opened to 2 Chronicles 1:10. Johnson was the first president whose wife held the Bible during his oath.
— Carter took his 1977 oath with Washington’s Bible and a Bible given to Carter by his mother, opened to Micah 6:8.
— Ronald Reagan took his 1981 and 1985 oaths on his mother’s King James Bible opened to 2 Chronicles 7:14.
With Trump’s mentions of God in his inaugural address, including a quotation of Psalm 133:1, every U.S. president to be inaugurated has referenced prayer or the Bible in his inaugural address.
Though some counts of divine references in inaugural addresses exclude Hays and Theodore Roosevelt — for example, a 2013 assessment by NPR — Hays referenced “guidance of that Divine Hand” in 1877 and Roosevelt referenced “gratitude to the Giver of Good” in 1905.
Read more at God & inaugurations: Baptists continue tradition.