Walter Cronkite was wrong. That rare occurrence was the genesis of So Help Me God; Becoming the President.  By tradition, presidents have placed their left hand, with three exceptions, on a Bible, often opened to a favorite verse.
In 1992, Cronkite reported that no two Presidents had taken the oath on the same verse. In fact, there have been several repeats.  Each inauguration, though, has been unique as have been the presidencies of the forty-three men who have served in the nation’s highest office.
So Help Me God: Becoming the President highlights the special qualities of each inauguration and tells, in brief, the story of each administration.  Common to all inaugurations has been the oath of office, stipulated in the Constitution in Article Two. Presidents pledge to “faithfully execute the laws” and preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Upon completing the oath, the term of office begins. To emphasize the solemnity of the oath, George Washington added “so help me, God.”   So Help Me God: Becoming the President tells stories which rekindle faith in the capacity of ordinary people to rise to the occasion to perform extraordinary feats. The stories affirm belief that the presidential office, created as something new and untested in 1789, fits the values and aspirations of the American vision and its people.

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