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Press Release

The George Washington Inaugural Bible is being placed on a one year loan to The Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, DC to be used in their Religion in Early America exhibit and events beginning June 28, 2017.

The role of religion in the formation and development of the United States is at the heart of this one-year exhibition that explores the themes of religious diversity, freedom, and growth from the colonial era through the 1840's.

National treasures from the Smithsonian Museum’s own collection will be on view, such as George Washington’s christening robe from 1732, Thomas Jefferson’s The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, also known as “The Jefferson Bible,” and Wampum beads. Significant objects on loan will include Massachusetts Bay Colony-founder John Winthrop’s communion cup, circa 1630; a Torah scroll on loan from New York’s Congregation Shearith Israel, founded in 1654; a chalice used by John Carroll, the first Roman Catholic bishop in the U.S. and founder of Georgetown University; and a first edition of the Book of Mormon. The objects will represent the diverse range of Christian, Native American, and African traditions as well as Mormonism, Islam, and Judaism that wove through American life in this era.

The St. John's Lodge No. 1 Foundation is pleased to be included in this exhibit and welcomes the opportunity to have the Smithsonian's millions of annual visitors view this important American artifact.