Washington: US President Barack Obama was on Sunday officially sworn in for a second four-year term by the Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts at a small White House ceremony. Surrounded by family, friends and staff, in the Blue Room of the White House, Obama placed his hand on the historic Robinson family bible, selected specifically for the occasion, and recited the 35-word presidential oath written in the Constitution.
"I Barack Hussein Obama do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," he said. Obama's first term ended at noon under the Constitution.
First Lady Michelle Obama held the bible with daughter Malia standing alongside. The Robinson Family Bible was selected specifically for the occasion.
However, historically, inaugural ceremonies are not held on a Sunday because courts and other public institutions are not open.
The bible was a gift from the First Lady's father, Fraser Robinson III, to his mother, LaVaughn Delores Robinson on Mother's Day in 1958. Delores Robinson was the first African-American woman manager of a Moody Bible Institute's bookstore and she used the Bible regularly.
As per the 20th amendment to the US Constitution, which changed the beginning of a presidential term from March 4 to January 20, the term of the newly-elected president begins at noon on January 20. However, historically, inaugural ceremonies are not held on a Sunday because courts and other public institutions are not open.
As a result, in accordance with the requirements of the US Constitutions, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were officially sworn in on Sunday, but the ceremonial swearing in, which is open to the public, will take place on the west steps of the US Capitol on Monday. This would be only the seventh time in the US history that a president will take the oath ceremonially on Monday following an Inauguration Day that fell on a Sunday.