Archive › March, 2011
George W. Bush

George W. Bush

George W. Bush, eldest son of the 41st President, intended to take his oath of office with his hand on the Masonic Bible used by George Washington and several of his successors, including Bush's father. Due to inclement weather, a Bush family Bible, closed, was used instead. (1) There was something prophetic in this frustrated […]

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton

"Where there is no vision, the people perish." These words from Proverbs 29:18 were prominent in the inauguration of William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton, 42nd President. Bill Clinton chose this passage to differentiate himself politically from his predecessor, who claimed to have "Trouble with that vision thing." But he also meant to underscore a point understood […]

George H.W. Bush

George H.W. Bush

George H. W. Bush became the first incumbent Vice President since Martin Van Buren in 1836 to be elected and inaugurated President. Like Van Buren, Bush followed a popular and heroic two-term President.  And, like Van Buren, Bush served only one term. All of the disappointment lay in the future, though, when on January 20, […]

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan

"…a settler pushes west and sings a song, and the song echoes out forever and fills the unknowing air…It is the American sound…That's our heritage; that is our song. We sing in still. For all out problems, our differences, we are together as of old, as we raise our voices to the God who is […]

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter

"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Micah 6:8) Fifty six years before James Earl (Jimmy) Carter took the presidential oath with his hand on this chosen scripture, Warren Harding […]

Gerald R. Ford

Gerald R. Ford

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct they paths" (Proverbs 3: 5-6) In a 1992 interview with Walter Cronkite, Gerald R. Ford, 38th President, describes these verses as a passage he had "loved and turned to" many times […]

Richard M. Nixon

Richard M. Nixon

Isaiah 2:4 reads: "And he shall judge among nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." If one were to speculate on meaningful scripture to Quakers, surely this would […]

Lyndon B. Johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson

A photograph powerful for those who lived through the transition from President Kennedy to President Johnson underscores how much a part of tradition a Bible has come to be in inaugural ceremonies. Johnson, his wife, Lady Bird, and the President's widow, Jacqueline, stand before District Judge Sarah Hughes. The Vice President's hand is raised; his […]

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy

The new President concluded, "With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth, God's work must truly be our own." Far more memorable lines from this […]

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower took the oath of office on Tuesday, January 20, 1953 from Chief Justice Vinson with his hand over two Bibles. One belonged to history, the one used by the first General to become President, George Washington, now opened to Psalms 127:1. The second was from Ike's cadet days at West Point. It […]