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quicklist:2title: …Which president did not swear the oath of office on the bible?Text: Only one American president has gone down in history as using a book other than the Bible to swear the oath of office. President John Quincy Adams – who came to be elected following a confused and tricky election in which none of the candidates won the necessary majority – took the oath with his hand placed on a book of law, containing the Constitution.
Though it isn’t constitutionally mandated that a president use a Bible, all others who were recorded used one – sometimes more than one. President Obama will use two in his public ceremony on Monday. The Bible to likely be on top belonged to Martin Luther King, Jr. The larger Bible was used at Lincoln’s Inauguration in 1861 and again at Obama’s first Inauguration in 2009. Read more about Obama’s Bible selection here.
quicklist:3title: …A president’s Inauguration once killed him?Text: William Henry Harrison – the ninth United States President – gave the longest inaugural address. It was 8,445 words, more than two hours in length and given to a crowd standing out in the elements of a bitter, damp and chilly March day.
Jim Bendat, author of “Democracy’s Big Day,” says 68-year-old Harrison “extended himself too much” that day. After dragging out his long address and attending all three Inaugural balls – a record for the time – the new president caught pneumonia. Harrison, who was then the oldest man to be elected president, spent less than a month in office before succumbing to the cold.
quicklist:4title: …JFK’s Inauguration was full of mishaps?Text: The 1961 Inauguration was a mess, according to Bendat, an author and presidential historian. For starters, Lyndon Johnson botched the vice presidential oath; instead of saying “without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion” he said, “without any mental reservation whatever.” Whoops.