John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams sworn on book of law

John Quincy Adams served as the sixth President of the United States from March 4, 1825, to March 4, 1829. He took the oath of office on a book of constitutional law, instead of the more traditional Bible. Adams proposed an elaborate program of internal improvements (roads, ports and canals), a national university, and federal support for the arts and sciences. He favored a high tariff to encourage the building of factories, and restricted land sales to slow the movement west. Opposition from the states’ rights faction of a hostile congress killed many of his proposals. He also reduced the national debt from $16 million to $5 million, the remainder of which was paid off by his immediate successor, Andrew Jackson.

John Quincy Adams

Use of Bibles in US Presidential sworn

Theodore Roosevelt did not use a Bible when taking the oath in 1901. Barack Obama, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry S. Truman, and Richard Nixon (also a Quaker) swore the oath on two Bibles. John Quincy Adams swore on a book of law, with the intention that he was swearing on the constitution. Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in on a Roman Catholic missal on Air Force One. Washington kissed the Bible afterwards, and subsequent presidents followed suit, up to and including Harry Truman, but Dwight D. Eisenhower broke that tradition by saying his own prayer instead of kissing the Bible.