Feb 6, 2009 | Click here to send an email.
The Lincoln Bible Resolution

Placing his hand on a small, burgundy velvet Bible, President Abraham Lincoln spoke the words that every U.S. President has spoken as he took his presidential oath of office, “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” His words, like every other President’s, would go down in history as the nation watched another peaceful transition of power in the history of our democracy. What President Lincoln did not realize, however, was the 148 year history that this particular Bible would come to represent.

Historical buildings and the symbols, artifacts, and objects within them help to tell the story of our nation. Since the inauguration of George Washington, each of the 44 presidents of the United States has placed his hand on a Bible while swearing the Constitutional oath of office, and many presidents have chosen to use a Bible that holds personal or historical significance to them. The Bible has not only played a storied role in our presidential inaugurations, but it is a symbol that represents the unique religious heritage so rich to our nation’s more than 200-year history.

This year, President Barack Obama chose to swear his oath of office on the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln used at his inauguration in 1861. As our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln led us out of the dark period of slavery in the United States so that African Americans could be given the freedom they deserved, and the Lincoln Bible has come to represent a 148-year epoch in civil rights, from the freeing of slaves, to desegregation, and now to the swearing in of the first African American president of the United States.

That small, burgundy velvet Bible that Abraham Lincoln used has become one of the objects so important to our American history. Though small in size, Lincoln’s Bible holds vast historical significance. It uniquely captures both America’s long journey of civil rights and America’s rich religious heritage – together providing an important symbol of the story of our nation.

That is why I have introduced a resolution calling on the Capitol Preservation Commission and the Architect of the Capitol to place the Lincoln Bible on permanent display at the Capitol Visitor Center, the newest addition to the United States Capitol. Each day, nearly 15,000 visitors go through that building to learn the history and operations of the United States Congress through artifacts, documents, videos, and images. It is important that those items accurately reflect our history and for visitors to see the times of triumph, times of loss, times of revolution, and times of conviction that have defined our nation. It is also important each portion of our nation’s history is accurately represented.

Currently, no inauguration Bible is on display in the Capitol Visitor Center and there is no mention of the significant role that our religious heritage played in the civil rights movement. In fact, a small iron table used by Abraham Lincoln during his second inauguration to hold the Bible is on display in the Center, but without the Lincoln Bible. We cannot afford to miss opportunities like this to share the complete story of our nation with the 15,000 visitors who visit daily. It is only appropriate that the Lincoln Bible be placed on display to enrich the experience for Capitol visitors so that they may fully appreciate both America’s journey of civil rights and our nation’s rich religious heritage.

Our Founding Founders established our nation “with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence” and with the idea that “all men are created equal.” Their foresight wove the rich tapestry of faith and freedom that makes our nation one of liberty and justice for all. We owe it to ourselves and to our future generations to make sure that this rich history is preserved and sustained.


Photo by Michaela McNichol, courtesy of the Library of Congress.



Heart Health Month


Throughout the month of February, we observe American Heart Health Month, a time to bring awareness and attention to heart disease and its complications.  According to the American Heart Association, heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the United States for both men and women.  In fact, heart disease claims more women’s lives each year than cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes combined.  It is also responsible for more deaths in women than all forms of cancer combined.


The American Heart Association has identified several risk factors that can lead to heart disease and the complications associated with it.  The more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing heart disease.  Some of these risk factors can be modified, treated or controlled, and some cannot be.  The controllable risk factors include:  smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, being overweight or obese, and physical inactivity.  Individuals who take preventative measures to control these things decrease their risk of heart disease.  To begin a new healthy lifestyle and lower your risk of heart disease, the American Heart Association provides information on things you need to know.


Learn Your Risks for a Heart Attack

It’s essential that you measure your risk of heart disease and make a plan for how to prevent it in the near future.  Use this tool to help you assess your risk of having a heart attack over the next ten years and create an action plan to reduce your risk. 


Examine the Risk Factors of Heart Disease

The more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing coronary heart disease.  Also, the greater the level of each risk factor, the more chances increase.  Use this information to decide if you have risk factors for heart disease and how you can modify them. 


Know the Warning Signs

Heart attack and stroke are life-and-death emergencies — every second counts. It is vital that you know the warning signs, and know how to respond quickly and properly if warning signs occur. 

Start Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Better lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and staying fit, can help you reduce your risk for heart attack. Learn what healthy steps you can take to help prevent heart disease and stroke.


Start Using Healthy Recipes

Eating healthy can lower the risk of heart disease.  Try these recipes and discover how easy it is to enjoy deliciously healthy meals at home.


Get moving!

Staying fit can help you reduce your risk for a heart attack.  Get tips and tools for making physical activity a fun part of every day.


Body Mass Index calculator

BMIs are good indicators of healthy or unhealthy weights for adult men and women, regardless of body frame size.  Excess weight increases the heart's work, raises blood pressure and blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and lowers HDL (good) cholesterol levels.



What is Congressman Forbes Doing About Our Economy?


Find out what Congressman Forbes is doing about our current economic situation by following the link below.

Follow this link to find out.



Free Resources for Educators


Are you or someone you know an educator? Federal Resources for Educational Excellence offers free teaching and learning resources on subjects like history, language arts, math, and science.

Follow this link for resources.



African American History Month


The Library of Congress provides a web page honoring African American History Month, with online collections and exhibits, audio and video resources, and resources for teachers. 

Follow this link to go.


Other News

Jan 30, 2009 Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) Introduces Resolution to Display Lincoln-Obama Bible in Capitol Visitor Center

Jan 29, 2009 Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Modeling and Simulation Caucus Members to Attend 4th Annual M&S Leadership Summit in Norfolk 

Jan 28, 2009 Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) Statement on Economic Stimulus Vote


Congressman Forbes meets with Chesterfield officials to discuss transportation and water issues.

Congressman Forbes presents the Purple Heart Medal to Kelly Huffman, a Navy veteran.
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