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Thread: Obama's Inauguration: Congrats President Obama!

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    Obama's Inauguration: Congrats President Obama!

    Pro-Life Rick Warren to Give Invocation at Obama Inauguration



    Pro-life pastor Rick Warren will give the invocation at President-Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration. It makes a whole lot of sense. Even though Warren and Obama disagree on the life issue, they do see eye to eye on many social justice issues. This move is also classic Obama because it is a signal to religious conservatives that he’s willing to bring in both sides to the faith discussion in this country. Obama has never shied away from that.

    The benediction will be led by Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery. The Civil Rights leader seems to be the perfect pick on such an historic day in this nation’s history. Watch Reverend Lowery preach with Barack Obama watching here.

    The full program is below: (by the way, The Brody File was not asked to take part in the ceremony. I wanted to read some of the "Best of The Brody File" blog entries but they said thanks but no thanks)

    The order of the program will be as follows:

    Musical Selections

    The United States Marine Band

    Musical Selections

    The San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus

    Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks

    The Honorable Dianne Feinstein

    Invocation

    Dr. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA

    Musical Selection

    Aretha Franklin

    Oath of Office Administered to Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

    By Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

    The Honorable John Paul Stevens

    Musical Selection, John Williams, composer/arranger

    Itzhak Perlman, Violin

    Yo-Yo Ma, Cello

    Gabriela Montero, Piano

    Anthony McGill, Clarinet

    Oath of Office Administered to President-elect Barack H. Obama

    By the Chief Justice of the United States

    The Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr.

    Inaugural Address

    The President of the United States, The Honorable Barack H. Obama

    Poem

    Elizabeth Alexander

    Benediction

    The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery

    The National Anthem

    The United States Navy Band “Sea Chanters”

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    Military to be on high alert for inauguration

    Military to be on high alert for inauguration
    About 11,500 troops, including chemical attack experts, will join the security detail as Obama takes the oath of office.
    By Julian E. Barnes

    December 18, 2008

    Reporting from Washington — The U.S. military will be on high alert during Barack Obama's inauguration, increasing air defenses and deploying chemical attack experts and medical units, a general said Wednesday.

    Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., who heads the military command that oversees security for North America, said the Defense Department had not been told of specific Inauguration Day threats. Nonetheless, he said, the armed services must be ready.

    "It would make news for a terrorist element or rogue element to interrupt that event," Renuart said. "So it is prudent to plan for the possibility of that event and to deter it or to respond to it."

    The preparations come amid heightened security concerns during the presidential transition. The Bush administration is planning to provide the president-elect with a series of contingency plans for potential international emergencies, including terrorist strikes and electronic attacks, that could occur after Obama takes the oath of office.

    The Secret Service is in charge of security for the inauguration. The agency is coordinating with local police departments, as well as with 4,000 law enforcement officers from 96 jurisdictions. About 11,500 military personnel will take part.

    Secret Service officials have established 23 planning teams but have provided few details. Inauguration organizers are considering a loudspeaker system to broadcast evacuation instructions in the event of an attack.

    Renuart said the military's preparations were meant to support civilian-led efforts.

    After 2001, the U.S. Northern Command, frequently called Northcom, was given broad responsibility for assisting with domestic security. Renuart is also the commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which guards U.S. airspace.

    The military response is not unprecedented. Northern Command officials said they provided security for inaugural activities in 2005, as well as for national political conventions and major athletic events such as the Super Bowl.

    Some military personnel will be part of the inauguration, playing in bands, marching in parades and conducting honor ceremonies. But Renuart said much of the force would have a security role.

    About 4,000 National Guard members will provide support to local law enforcement, boosting security on the National Mall and around Washington, where millions of people are expected. There also will be 7,500 troops under federal control, including emergency medical teams and experts in chemical attacks.

    Air defenses around Washington are always tight, but Renuart said the number of patrols would increase.

    The contingencies to be conveyed by the White House to the Obama team are separate from the inaugural preparations. They are meant to ensure that the new administration is as prepared as possible on Jan. 20.

    The White House briefing, first reported by the New York Times, is part of a larger transition effort by the National Security Council to identify international trouble spots for the new administration.

    Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said: "We want to provide them, especially in the first few weeks, the basis for which they can have some information to make their decisions. This is a menu of contingencies and possible options."

    Obama is trying to fill key national security jobs, hoping the Senate will confirm many of his appointments on the day of the inauguration or soon after.

    Johndroe said the Bush administration would make sure there were career officials ready to act should a crisis develop before Obama's appointees were confirmed.

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    Obama's choice of evangelical pastor draws ire from gays


    WASHINGTON – Gay rights advocates are criticizing President-elect Barack Obama's choice of a popular evangelical minister to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, saying it shows disrespect for a constituency that strongly supported his campaign.

    Pastor Rick Warren, a best-selling author and leader of a Southern California megachurch, is one of a new breed of evangelicals who stress the need for action on social issues such as reducing poverty and protecting the environment, alongside traditional theological themes. But the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights organization, said Warren's opposition to gay marriage is a sign of intolerance.

    "We feel a deep level of disrespect when one of the architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination," the group said in a letter to Obama, asking him to reconsider.

    Obama's selection of Warren is seen as a signal to religious conservatives that the president-elect will listen to their views. During the campaign, Warren interviewed Obama and Republican John McCain in a widely watched television program that focused on religious concerns.

    Gay rights advocates say they are troubled by Warren's support for a California ballot initiative banning gay marriage, approved by voters last month. "By inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table," the letter said.

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    Oprah let it be known she's losing 15 lbs for the inauguration.
    Success is Journey... not a Destination

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    Quote Originally Posted by bzegirl View Post
    Oprah let it be known she's losing 15 lbs for the inauguration.
    AGAIN!!!

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    Take God out the oath?

    Lawsuit seeks to take 'so help me God' out of inaugural

    Atheists want references to religion removed from inaugural ceremony

    Groups object to "so help me God" at end of oath, benediction by pastor

    "I have no doubt I'll lose," says California lawyer who filed lawsuit

    By Carol Cratty
    CNN
    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A number of atheists and non-religious organizations want Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony to leave out all references to God and religion.

    In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Washington, the plaintiffs demand that the words "so help me God" not be added to the end of the president's oath of office.

    In addition, the lawsuit objects to plans for ministers to deliver an invocation and a benediction in which they may discuss God and religion.

    An advance copy of the lawsuit was posted online by Michael Newdow, a California doctor and lawyer who has filed similar and unsuccessful suits over inauguration ceremonies in 2001 and 2005.

    Joining Newdow in the suit are groups advocating religious freedom or atheism, including the American Humanist Association, the Freedom from Religion Foundation and atheist groups from Minnesota; Seattle, Washington; and Florida.

    The new lawsuit says in part, "There can be no purpose for placing 'so help me God' in an oath or sponsoring prayers to God, other than promoting the particular point of view that God exists."

    Newdow said references to God during inauguration ceremonies violate the Constitution's ban on the establishment of religion.

    Newdow and other plaintiffs say they want to watch the inaugural either in person or on television. As atheists, they contend, having to watch a ceremony with religious components will make them feel excluded and stigmatized.

    "Plaintiffs are placed in the untenable position of having to choose between not watching the presidential inauguration or being forced to countenance endorsements of purely religious notions that they expressly deny," according to the lawsuit.

    Among those named in the lawsuit are Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, who is expected to swear in the new president; the Presidential Inauguration Committee; the Joint Congressional Committee on Inauguration Ceremonies and its chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California; and the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee and its commander, Maj. Gen. Richard Rowe Jr.

    The two ministers scheduled to participate in the ceremony also are named: the Rev. Rick Warren and the Rev. Joseph Lowery. The document includes a quotation from Warren on atheists: "I could not vote for an atheist because an atheist says, 'I don't need God.' "

    Newdow told CNN that he didn't name President-elect Barack Obama in the suit because in addition to participating as a government official at the ceremony, he possesses rights as an individual that allow him to express religious beliefs.

    "If he chooses to ask for God's help, I'm not going to challenge him," Newdow said. "I think it's unwise."

    Newdow said that as a member of a racial minority, Obama should have respect for atheists, who also are members of a minority.

    Newdow said religious references in the inauguration ceremony send a message to non-believers.

    "The message here is, we who believe in God are the righteous, the real Americans," he said.

    Newdow said it's unconstitutional to imply that atheists and others are not as good.

    He acknowledged that his suit is unlikely to be successful.

    "I have no doubt I'll lose," he said, adding that he hoped to eventually succeed through appeals and hoped future inauguration ceremonies would exclude religious references.

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    A good time to make "separation of church and state" a reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by belizean View Post
    Lawsuit seeks to take 'so help me God' out of inaugural



    "I have no doubt I'll lose," says California lawyer who filed lawsuit



    He acknowledged that his suit is unlikely to be successful.

    "I have no doubt I'll lose," he said, adding that he hoped to eventually succeed through appeals and hoped future inauguration ceremonies would exclude religious references.
    This r******* should have to pay for all the costs of the frivolous lawsuits he files. Phucking azz costs us taxpayers lots of money and he knows his case is so stupid. Peeps trying to legislate via the courts should be fed to sharks. You too rodentnpoke!

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    Good luck getting around D.C. on Inauguration Day

    WASHINGTON – On a typical weekday, hundreds of thousands of people commute to the nation's capital, snarling roads and packing subway trains and buses during peak hours.

    Imagine multiplying that several times for Barack Obama's inauguration Jan. 20.

    "I don't want in any way to discourage anyone," said the District of Columbia's city administrator, Dan Tangherlini. "I just don't want them to come and be completely shocked by what they find."

    It won't be pleasant, Tangherlini and other officials say.

    The Washington area's transit system is telling passengers to expect extraordinarily long lines for trains and buses. Airports will be bustling with extra flights. Traffic could be at a standstill as motorists cope with street and bridge closings. Those who do manage to arrive in Washington will find limited parking.

    "Pack your patience" is the advice from Corinne Geller, a Virginia State Police spokeswoman.

    Amtrak is expanding service between Boston and Washington on Inauguration Day. Southwest Airlines is adding 26 flights to and from the region between Jan. 17 and Jan. 23. Delta Air Lines and its subsidiary, Northwest Airlines, are adding more than 5,000 seats Jan. 16 and Jan. 21 by using larger aircraft on existing flights. Airport officials say they will add staff to help guide travelers.

    Virginia State Police plan to bring troopers from across the state to monitor expected gridlock outside Washington, Geller said. Maryland transportation officials are urging truck drivers and other commercial drivers to avoid the area.

    Major bridges into the city, such as the Roosevelt, Memorial and inbound Key bridges, will be open only to buses and official inaugural traffic, Tangherlini said. A complete list of road closures will be released early this week, according to the Secret Service.

    Prepare for the unexpected, authorities and inaugural organizers say.

    "We also recommend developing backup plans in case your original travel plans need to be changed at the last minute," the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies said in a recent advisory.

    Given the impending headaches, some would-be revelers are staying home.

    Larry Froneyberger of Atlanta planned to pick up his 68-year-old grandmother, Francine, from High Point, N.C., on his way to the inauguration. They were going to stay in Baltimore and take the train into Washington.

    She was excited about the prospect of witnessing the first black president, especially because she grew up during a time when that seemed impossible, Froneyberger said. But with her slow stride due to foot surgery last year, the transportation situation was too overwhelming.

    "It's going to be a lot of waiting and she was like, 'I just can't do it,'" Froneyberger said.

    Even cab drivers are thinking twice about working that day, said William J. Wright, president of the Taxicab Industry Group in Washington.

    Wright said he has driven his cab during past inaugurations — including John F. Kennedy's — but based on what he's hearing, he expects gridlock for this one to be the worst.

    "I don't see how a cab driver can make any money, to be honest with you, because he can't go anywhere," he said.

    Others are willing to brave it, despite the many inconveniences.

    Tony Vincent of northeast Washington said he will take the subway into Union Station, where he shines shoes. Depending on how many people step on his shoes on the packed train, he may need a polish of his own, he said.

    "I know it's going to be crazy," he said. "It might be a little uncomfortable."

    While government workers are off that day, some sectors are requiring employees to show up.

    Nicholas Ramfos, who heads Commuter Connections, a nonprofit group that coordinates commuter programs in Washington, is recommending that employers allow workers to telecommute or shift their hours outside of peak inaugural travel time.

    Besides biking or public transport, he suggests people take a look at his group's car pool list to find others who work or live near them.

    For some people, leaving the city isn't an option.

    Emily Durso, president of the Hotel Association of Washington, D.C., said hotels will be fully staffed, with many people working multiple shifts. Her group represents 97 hotels in Washington, and she said a number of them plan to set up cots for employees at the hotels or in empty apartments.

    "We've never had anything like this," she said. "It's just a whole different animal in many ways."

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    FREE HBO!!!!

    Beyonce, Wonder, Springsteen at inaugural event


    NEW YORK – Judging by the lineup, Sunday's inaugural celebration for Barack Obama at the Lincoln Memorial is a coveted gig for music's top names.

    Beyonce, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Usher, Shakira, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban and James Taylor are among the musicians scheduled to perform Sunday afternoon. The president-elect and his family are expected to attend.

    HBO will televise the show at 7 p.m. EST on Sunday on an open feed, meaning the pay cable network will offer the telecast for free to cable and satellite customers.

    Other performers include Stevie Wonder, Renee Fleming, Garth Brooks, Mary J. Blige, Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, John Legend and Jennifer Nettles. Historical passages will be read by Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington.
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    Grandson of slaves: Obama is our Moses


    SLEDGE, Mississippi (CNN) -- James Presley stands amid chopped cotton, the thick Mississippi mud caked on his well-worn boots. A smile spreads across his face when he talks about voting for Barack Obama and what that might mean for generations to come. His voice picks up a notch. He holds his head up a bit higher.

    "There's a heap of pride in voting for a black man," he says.

    At 78, Presley is a legend of the past living in the present and now hopeful for the future. A grandson of slaves, he's one of the few men left in America so closely tied to his slave past, still farming cotton on the same land as his ancestors. He's picked cotton since he was just 6 years old.

    He and his wife of 57 years, Eva May, raised 13 children and six grandchildren in a cypress-sided house in the middle of cotton fields in northwestern Mississippi. He was a sharecropper most his life, but rarely qualified for food stamps. Watch "Obama, he come up like" »

    His father died in 1935 when he was 5, and he had to step up and be the "Little Man" of the house, a nickname that has stuck seven decades later.

    He's lived a raw-knuckled life where hope moved at a molasses-slow pace. The last time he had hope for a better future was four decades ago -- first with President John F. Kennedy and then with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Obama has changed everything to the poor in these parts. iReport.com: What does Obama's presidency mean to you?

    "I'm a church man," he says. "And I kind of figured this here is about like it was with Moses with the children of Israel. On that day, when he gets to be president, we're all going to be rejoicing."

    Does he have plans to celebrate on Inauguration Day?

    "Oh man, it's gonna be nice. I believe we're gonna have a good time," he says. "I never thought one would get there." See photos of the weather-beaten home where Little Man raised so many children »

    As the nation prepares for Obama's inauguration on January 20, CNN.com traveled to Sledge, Mississippi, a forgotten town of about 500 people in the heart of the Mississippi Delta that some consider to be the birthplace of blues in America.

    Nearly 20 percent of residents over the age of 60 live below the poverty line, according to the 2000 census. That number nearly doubles, to 37.5 percent, for residents under the age of 19. About three-quarters of the population are black. Two-thirds of the people here make less than $35,000 a year.

    Presley says the fact the nation will have a black president will have a ripple effect in poor communities like his. For the first time ever, he says, black parents and grandparents can tell youngsters in rural America that through education, anything is possible -- that the White House isn't just for white folks.

    Three of his children graduated from college. Two have died -- one as a youth, one as an adult. It never gets easier, he says, no matter what age they die. Obama has already brought inspiration to future generations of his own family.

    "I might be dead and gone, but it's going to be a good thing to me, because I know that they ain't gotta go through what I went through. They'll have a better time, a more joyous time, than what I had when I come along. It is gonna be grand to them and to me, too."

    After Presley's father died, he was raised by his mother, and he finds comfort that Obama was raised by a "single mother, like me." Read: My great-granddaddy hired Little Man as a boy

    "He knows what it is to come up without a father and what it is to come up for what you work for," Presley says. "Me and the poor man coming up, we had to work for what bread I got."

    Presley shifts back and forth on his feet as he speaks. His flannel shirt and oil-stained jeans seem befitting of his life on the farm. He peers out from a camouflage hat, the fuzzy ear flaps pulled up over his head. He speaks in an accent as thick as the mud on his boots.

    His hands speak to decades of hard labor. His fingers appear swollen with overworked muscles. The skin seems about a quarter-inch thick. If his hands could speak, he says, "They'd be crying, instead of talking, for what they've been through."

    "You see how rusty and rough they are. They've been through something, ain't they?"

    At 6-foot, 2-inches and 214 pounds, Presley has what seems an odd nickname. "They call me Little Man," he says.

    He wears the nickname with pride. The youngest of three sisters and four brothers, he says that after his father died in 1935, he became the "Little Man" of the house. "I was tall, but I was small. So they called me Little Man," he says.

    He doesn't remember much about his father. He can't recall the day he died or the sound of his voice. He was too young. He never met his slave grandparents either. They died long before he was born. But the fact they were slaves still stings.

    "That doesn't make you feel too good, you know, to be sold like a cow. But back then, they couldn't help it. So I reckon I'm just glad that things come out better like it is now."

    A thick fog hangs over the fields on this day. Presley pauses. He scans the fields and says, "I think about the good times and the hard times."

    "When I started farming, we planted with hands ... and hauled it to the gin by wagon, a mule and a wagon. One bale at a time," he says.

    He worked the fields when he was 6, the age of a typical kindergartner these days. "I was making 50 cents a day, from sunup to sundown."

    "Back then, you know, I didn't get no schooling. I had to get out, come home and break the land, cut the stalks, plow the land and get it ready for the crop."

    Presley has a total of four years of education, classes that he took in between growing seasons. His mother taught him to read and write, but he admits even to this day he struggles with both.

    When it comes to life as a black man -- a sharecropper -- in Mississippi, he says it's tough to explain how difficult it was. He points to a nearby bluff and says that when he was just a boy, a black man was lynched from a tree. "I never saw him hanging up there," he says. "All I seen was the tree."

    Blacks were segregated from whites. They couldn't go to the same schools. They had separate water fountains. Blacks couldn't go in the front doors of businesses. And just about everywhere you went, he says, racism was rampant.

    "You go into a place, and they say, '******, get outta here.' You don't want nobody telling you that. You're a citizen around town. If you're a citizen, I'm a citizen like you," he says. "It makes you feel mighty bad."

    "When I was a young boy, they was bad about that, calling you that."

    He registered to vote for the first time in 1959 and cast his first presidential ballot for Kennedy. He says he's voted in every presidential election ever since.

    "We felt like we were moving on up when we voted for him," he says. When Kennedy was assassinated, "everybody was kind of sad on that day, because he looked like the first president that had come in and was trying to help the poor folks."

    King brought hope, too. "He was the only hope that we were looking for -- to bring us out," Presley says. But when King was killed on April 4, 1968, he says, it "put us right back where we was."

    "It was pitiful that day," he says. "Everybody around here was in mourning."

    He says Obama has brought inspiration to blacks in these parts, the likes of which hasn't been seen since 1968.

    "With Obama coming in, it's gonna be another Martin Luther King helping us," he says. "Maybe in the next 40 years, we'll be better off."

    He says Americans should never take their voting rights for granted. He was 30 years old before he first voted. "It means a lot to me, because I can put in for who I want to be president and who not to be president," he says. "So I just feel proud that I can vote."

    Before parting on this day, Presley gives a tour of the weather-beaten, four-bedroom house where he raised his 13 children and six grandkids. The wood-framed house was the first home he ever lived in with running water, a bathroom and electric stove. The now-abandoned house is dilapidated, many of its windows broken, its doors barely hanging on hinges.

    "I've had a good life, despite the hard times. I sure did," says Presley, who is retiring after 72 years of working the fields.

    What's his message to the world?

    "The important thing in life is to try to live and do the best you can," he says. "We done had it bad. Let us help give our children a better life, our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren. Let's try to give them a better life than we had. But anyway, just keep the good work going, is all I say."
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    NAACP criticizes use of 'plantation-like' Trail Maids in Inaugural Parade...
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    5,000 port-o-potties planned for day 'grossly inadequate'; Lawsuit warning...
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    Indian protesters burn Obama's picture
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    They're going to party like it's 1861!



    In what will be a Lincoln-themed inauguration from top to bottom, Obama won't only follow in the footsteps of the former president - he'll also eat like him, it was announced yesterday.



    Obama's jampacked Abe-apalooza moved into high gear with an announcement from the Congressional Inaugural Committee that it will hold a luncheon next Tuesday following the swearing-in ceremony that's modeled after foods Lincoln enjoyed.

    The lunch menu is only the latest in a slew of references and tributes to Lincoln that will be folded into Obama's big day.

    Part of the meal will even be served on replicas of the china picked out by First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln at the beginning of her husband's first term in office in 1861.

    The appetizer will feature a seafood stew in puff pastry - including scallops, shrimp and lobster - in honor of Lincoln's love of seafood.

    The main course of a "Brace of American Birds (pheasant and duck)" with sour-cherry chutney will be served with molasses sweet potatoes - a nod to the root vegetables and wild game that Honest Abe ate as a child in Indiana.

    The Lincoln-fest luncheon at Statuary Hall, a chamber of the Capitol building, will serve some 200 guests, including members of the Supreme Court, the incoming Cabinet and congressional leaders.

    "It's always good to model yourself after a great president," said Eric Foner, a professor of American history at Columbia University. "The proof will be in the pudding."

    The guests will enjoy an apple cinnamon sponge cake for dessert, which recalls Lincoln's love of apples.

    Guests will wash it down with several California wines, since Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is the chairwoman of the planning committee.

    Design Cuisine, a Virginia-based caterer, has been hired to make the meal.

    The backdrop for the luncheon will be Lincoln-esque as well - the painting "View of the Yosemite Valley" by Thomas Hill, borrowed from the New-York Historical Society.

    The painting, which will hang behind Obama, is a landscape of Yosemite Valley at dawn - representing Lincoln's signing of the 1864 Yosemite Grant that set aside the land as a public reserve.

    Just to make sure everyone gets it, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which handles much of the inaugural planning, has deemed that "A New Birth of Freedom" will be the official inaugural theme.

    The phrase, from the Gettysburg Address, expresses Lincoln's hope that the sacrifice of those who died to preserve the nation would lead to "a new birth of freedom" for our nation.

    And at his swearing-in ceremony, Obama will place his hand on the same Bible that Lincoln used at his first inauguration.

    On Saturday, Obama will travel by train from Philadelphia to Washington, DC - part of the route taken by Lincoln during an 1861 trip.

    Obama also has said his essential reading in the Oval Office would include "Team of Rivals," Doris Kearns Goodwin's 2005 best seller, which recounts how Lincoln surrounded himself with advisers who were better educated and more experienced than he was and who could be rivals for his job.
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