When Donald Trump won the election, House Speaker Paul Ryan and many other Republicans who vowed he would make the party of Abraham Lincoln “implode” had to quickly decide whether or not to rally around their candidate.
Just two months after Mr Ryan said he could no longer defend the party nominee, Mr Trump will take the oath on Lincoln’s Bible, the same one used by Barack Obama for both of his ceremonies in 2009 and 2013.
The Lincoln Bible was bought for the inauguration in 1861 by Supreme Court Clerk William Thomas Carroll as the US was on the brink of Civil War. It is bound in velvet, with a gold-washed metal rim along the edges of the covers.
Conservationists told the New York Times they were hoping it would not rain.
If Mr Trump dropped it, or if the Bible was damaged in some way, a library staffer would be standing nearby to whisk it away for repair.
The President-elect will also use his own Bible, which his mother gave him when he graduated Sunday school in 1955.
Mr Trump’s Bible has his name embossed on the cover with a message inscribed from church leaders.
The chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, Tom Barrack, said: “As he takes the same oath of office 156 years later, President-elect Trump is humbled to place his hand on Bibles that hold special meaning both to his family and to our country.”
Once the oath has been taken under the eye of US Chief Justice John Roberts, Lincoln’s Bible will be returned to the Library of Congress.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence will be sworn in using the Bible of Ronald Reagan by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the first African-American person to administer the oath to a Vice President or President..
Lincoln’s election was so divisive that they feared he would be attacked, and he was smuggled into the White House while his court clerk was sent out to buy the Holy book, only measuring six by four inches.
Mr Trump’s inaugural ceremony, however, is expected to welcome around 800,000 people.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies