Visit the Historic Arkansas Museum this Friday and Saturday to see George Washington’s Inaugural Bible. Times are during 2nd Friday Art Night, Feb. 8 from 5 to 8 p.m., and on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
“It’s cool for kids to see the bible because it’s a real thing,” says Ellen Korenblat, the museum’s communications director.
“Kids are used to seeing an artist’s idea of George Washington, such as portraits in textbooks or on the dollar bill. But this is something actually used by him, a real three-dimensional connection to our first president. And, someday they can tell their kids about seeing George Washington’s Inaugural Bible. How cool is that?”
George Washington took the oath of office as the first president of the United States in New York on April 30, 1789. The bible Washington used came from nearby St. John’s Lodge No. 1, Ancient York Masons, and they have preserved it ever since. The bible has been used in inaugural ceremonies of Warren G. Harding, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush.
President Washington’s Family Bible will also be on display as part of the museum’s upcoming exhibit, “Treasures of Arkansas Freemasons, 1838-2013,” from Feb. 8 to July 12. The Family Bible will be on display for the entire length of the exhibit. Admission is free.
The exhibit correlates with the 175th anniversary of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Arkansas, in downtown Little Rock. The Family Bible is on loan from the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, Va. It contains Washington’s signature and notes written in his hand.
For more information, visit the Historic Arkansas Museum or call (501) 324-9351. The museum is located at 200 E. Third St. in Little Rock.
Watch this video from CBS Sunday Morning about George Washington’s inaugural Bible.