State of the Union Address

Three Branches of Government

Vice President Michael Pence
Vice President Michael Pence
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump
Vice President Michael Pence
Vice President Michael Pence
Chief Justice John Roberts
Chief Justice John Roberts


The formal basis for the State of the Union Address is from the U.S. Constitution:

The President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Article II, Section 3, Clause 1.

The constitutionally mandated presidential message has gone through a few name changes:

  • It was formally known as the Annual Message from 1790 to 1946.
  • It began to be informally called the "state of the Union" message/address from 1942 to 1946.
  • Since 1947 it has officially been known as the State of the Union Address.

First Annual Address to Congress provides an overview of the first address delivered by President George Washington on January 8, 1790.

State of the Union Address in Four Voices - COPY
State of the Union Address Questions - COPY