Two days from today on Tuesday, January 20, President Obama will deliver his annual State of the Union address to the American people.
This will be the sixth year President Obama has given a State of the Union speech, and each year, President Obama and his staff have spent weeks getting ready for the big night.
But the State of the Union was not always the way we picture it today. Article Two of the Constitution mandates that the president compose an annual State of the Union message, but it does not state that the president must deliver that message verbally. So up until President Woodrow Wilson, most presidents just submitted their State of the Union address on paper for Congress to review -- many of them didn’t give a speech at all!
In fact, what we think of today as the “State of the Union address” wasn’t even called the “State of the Union” until the middle of the 20th century. President Franklin Roosevelt was the first president to refer to his speech as a “State of the Union” address, with most presidents following suit.
President Obama has always delivered his State of the Union address as a speech at the Capitol . This year he will do the same, so make sure you're tuning in!
Go to obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/SOTU -- the White House's State of the Union headquarters -- to see what's happening on the road to the State of the Union. Then, RSVP to watch the President on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.
Jenna Brayton is an Associate Director of Digital Content in the White House Office of Digital Strategy.
The State of the Union 2015: Everything You Need to Know