President Obama was the first President to be sworn in using the Lincoln Bible since its first use in 1861. Why didn’t other president-elects use it? Slate Online Magazine provides the answer:
“Because the Library of Congress didn’t offer it up. The Bible, which was given to Lincoln by the clerk of the Supreme Court, is part of the permanent rare-books collection of the library. Other presidents probably could have used the Lincoln Bible if they’d asked for it, but Library of Congress staffers proposed the idea themselves shortly after Obama’s election. The library already has plans to mount an exhibition of its vast cache of Lincolniana to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, Feb. 12. The newly famous inauguration Bible will go on display directly following its use by Obama.”
You can learn more about the Lincoln Bible here.