Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States Wednesday.
Biden completed his oath of office at 11:48am, using a treasured family Bible that dates to the 19th century and was held by his wife, Jill Biden. The oath was administered by Chief Justice John Roberts.
As for the Bible where he will place his right hand, Biden used a family heirloom that he has used every time he has taken an oath of office before as twice sworn in as vice president in 2009 and 2013 and for each of his seven Senate swearings-in, starting in 1973. The Bible is five inches thick, features a Celtic cross on the cover, and has been in the Biden family since 1893.
In 2009, Biden’s final oath in the Senate was delayed when the Bible couldn’t be located, the Wilmington News Journal reported. Beau Biden, Biden’s son who died in 2015, also used the Bible when he was sworn in as attorney general of Delaware in 2007.
“Every important date is in there. For example, every time I’ve been sworn in for anything, the date has been on that, and it’s inscribed on the Bible,” Biden told Stephen Colbert last month. “Our son, when he was sworn in as attorney general, all the important dates in our family, going way back. And it’s just been a family heirloom.”
Before he gave his inaugural address, Kamala Harris became the first woman, and the first half Black person, half South Asian person sworn in as Vice President.
Biden, who turned 78 just two weeks after being declared by the media the winner of the 2020 election makes history as the oldest person to ever be elected as president. His road to commander-in-chief was long and winding and included two failed presidential campaigns and two terms as Obama’s Vice President.
His first bid for presidency was in 1987 that was marked with plagiarism.
Prior to his triple presidential bids, Biden spent decades in the U.S. Senate after first being elected in 1972. He was elected president 48 years to the day after winning his first Senate election.
Biden is the second Catholic elected president, after John F. Kennedy. He invited Republican and Democratic congressional leaders to attend Mass with him Wednesday morning ahead of the inauguration. Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as well as Vice President Mike Pence joined Biden for morning mass, skipping a farewell event President Trump held that took place around the same time.