Obama takes his oath in advance of public event

President Barack Obama has been formally sworn in for a second four-year term. Vice President Joe Biden also took the oath of office Sunday before Monday’s public inauguration ceremony to be witnessed by hundreds of thousands of people on the National Mall.

Obama took the oath just before noon in a ceremony lasting about half a minute in the oval-shaped White House Blue Room, with views of the executive mansion’s South Lawn sweeping down to the Washington Monument.

With First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, and a small group of reporters looking on, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath.

Obama shook Roberts hand, kissed his wife and children, and said to his family, “I did it.”

This was the seventh time in U.S. history a president has taken the oath on Sunday, before a public ceremony the following day. The U.S. Constitution requires a president’s term to begin on January 20.

Obama used a Bible that belonged to his wife’s grandmother, LaVaughn Delores Robinson.

​​​​In his public inauguration Monday at the U.S. Capitol, he will again lay his hand on the bible used by President Abraham Lincoln at his inauguration in 1861.

Obama will also use a second Bible, once owned by the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The ceremony occurs on the national holiday established to honor King.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for equal rights for African-Americans, and the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation that initiated the process of freeing slaves in America.

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