Tracing the Steps of Greatness

President-elect Barack Obama, arriving in Washington Saturday night at the end of a 137-mile train journey evocative of Abraham Lincoln’s arrival in Washington, used the trip as a pre-inaugural vehicle for calling on Americans to summon a new spirit of optimism . Obama’s arrival on the eve of an outdoor concert in front of the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday marks the start of a series of celebrations leading to his inauguration as the 44th president on Tuesday. Along the way, he spoke of the hardships that Americans are facing, and invoked the spirit of the nation’s founders as an inspiration for making “a new declaration of independence.” “The trials we face are very different now, but they are severe in their own right,”Obama told thousands assembled in Baltimore, during the final layover of a train trip in which he also echoed Lincoln’s own inspirational inaugural words . “What’s required is a new declaration of independence,” Obama repeated along his route, making “an appeal not to our easy instincts, but to our better angels.”Read Article at In another act of honoring and commemorating Lincoln’s inaugural process, Obama requested the use of the same bible President Lincoln used when he was sworn in . “President-elect Obama is deeply honored that the Library of Congress has made the Lincoln Bible available for use during his swearing-in,” Presidential Inaugural Committee Executive Director Emmett Beliveau said in a statement Tuesday .The burgundy velvet Bible with gilded edges was purchased and inscribed by William Thomas Carroll, clerk of the Supreme Court. It will be on display at the Library of Congress February 12 to May 9 as part of an exhibition titled “With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition .” The exhibit will then travel to five other American cities in commemoration of the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth on Feb.