President-Elect Donald John Trump took the oath of office on Friday, January 20, 2017. He becomes the 45th President of the United States.
Two bibles used for the swearing-in ceremony
Trump placed his hand on two bibles for the swearing-in ceremony. The first was Trump’s personal bible, a revised standard version presented to him by his mother in 1955 upon graduation from Sunday Church Primary School in New York. Trump showed off this personal bible in an early 2016 campaign video.
The second bible was President Abraham Lincoln’s, used at his inauguration more than 150 years ago.
Light rain began to fall as the new president stepped forward to take the oath.
The President of the United States takes the oath before beginning the execution of their office. Article II, Section One, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution specifies the wording of the oath.
The presidential oath requires more than a general oath of allegiance and fidelity. The oath requires the new president “to the best of his ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
The Oath of Office
The Oath of Office of the President of the United States is:
“I [name] do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
It is uncertain how many Presidents have used a bible or added the words “So help me God” to the end of their oath. The constitution requires neither. It is uncertain whether George Washington used the phrase at his swearing-in ceremony.
Many federal oaths include the phrase “So help me God”. Congress mandates the phase “So help me God” under the Judiciary Act of 1789 for judges and officers other than the President.