Congressman Tom Cotton

Representing the 4th District of Arkansas
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History of the State of the Union

Jan 28, 2014
Cotton Blog
Tonight, Congress will receive the State of the Union address from President Obama. Article II, Section 3 of the United States Constitution states that “[the President] shall from time shall from time to time give to Congress information on the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” President George Washington delivered the first State of the Union address—then referred to as an annual message—in 1790. Over the next several decades the structure and delivery of the message varied, with some Presidents choosing to submit written reports to Congress. The annual reading of the address began in 1913 with President Woodrow Wilson, and in 1934 President Franklin D. Roosevelt began referring to the annual message as the State of the Union, a title that remains today.