October 01, 1997 12:00 AM

The King James Bible used in this Saturday’s inauguration of George W. Bush has quite a pedigree, according to reports. President George Washington, who took the very first oath of office in 1789, originally used the volume at his ceremony. The book itself is 234 years old, weighs nine pounds, is bound in burgundy calf’s leather and contains 130 leaves of steel engravings. When the father of George W. — George W. Bush, that is, not George Washington — used it when he was sworn in 1989, First Lady Barbara Bush placed the family Bible on top of it. Dubya’s hand appeared to be right on it on Saturday. Meanwhile, other presidents have used this Bible at their inaugurations, besides Washington and the two Bushes: Warren G. Harding, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Jimmy Carter.

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