The 57th Presidential Inauguration and its Historic Reflections on Civil Rights

adr_articleshotBy: April Ryan –

The 57th Presidential Inauguration is days away.  It is yet another historic event.  The world will witness the second Presidential Swearing in Ceremony for the first Black United States President, Barack Obama.  Monday the tradition takes place on the national Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.  If Doctor King were alive he would be 84.

In honor of Dr. King and his Civil Rights legacy, the President will use Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s personal Bible during the ceremony.   Reverend Al Sharpton remarked on Dr. King’s actual birthday, January 15, the bible “was not a mantle Bible but his personal Bible,” the one he used when conducting his civil rights work in the trenches. 

Another Bible will be used during the ceremony. Late President Abraham Lincoln’s Bible will be part of the Presidential tradition for this service.  That Bible has symbolism. 150 years ago, President Lincoln freed the slaves through the Emancipation Proclamation.   

This year’s Inauguration ceremony also has glimpses of the historic past of 50 years ago.  According to radio talk show host and Civil Rights leader, Joe Madison “1963 was a watershed year.”

That year Madison recalls, Medgar Evers was killed immediately after a Civil Rights speech delivered by then President John Kennedy. Evers widow,  Myrlie Evers Williams will deliver the invocation at the Inauguration Monday. Madison, a friend of Evers Williams, suggested to the White House a while back that she be brought into the White House fold.    

Other significant moments of 1963, it was the year of the March on Washington and the I Have a Dream speech.  It is the year four little black girls were killed in an early Sunday morning bombing of an Alabama church.  It is also the year President John Kennedy was assassinated.  

Integrationists In NYC 1963

Vivian Malone

Malone was one of two who integrated that school.  She passed away in 2005 and is survived by her sister Sharon and her Brother-in-law, Attorney General Eric Holder.  Holder is pleased the University of Alabama will mark the 50th anniversary of the integration of the school this summer. 


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  3. James C. Morant says:

    I still dream of the day when the content of one’s character will trump the color of one’s skin. As an attendee of the 1963 March on Washington, I was greatly inspired and hopeful of a “post-racial” America. President Obama’s tenure should have cemented this concept. Unfortunately, we are still in an era when folks, like the Republicans, have to go to Williamsburg, Virginia (as they did this week)to have seminars on “how to communicate with minorities and women”. Have we come far ENOUGH? I don’t think so. But I still have a dream…….

  4. Reda StCyr (@StCyrlyMe2) says:

    Nice read Thanks!!


  1. […] on the national observance the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. President Obama placed his hands on two Bibles once owned by late President Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King, […]

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