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Get Ready: President Obama’s State of the Union Address is One Day Away

President Obama will give his sixth State of the Union address on January 20, 2015. See a history of State of the Union preparations, as well as ways to engage with the White House in the lead up to the President's speech.

One day from today on Tuesday, January 20, President Obama will go to the U.S. Capitol and present his sixth State of the Union address to Congress and the American public.

The State of the Union is a time-honored tradition where the President updates Congress on his plans for the upcoming year, and speaks to the American people about his Administration’s priorities and policies.

The First Lady accompanies the President to the Capitol to hear him speak. Over the past three decades it has become a tradition that the First Lady also invites several honored guests – Americans who have done something to deserve recognition - to join her in the First Lady’s box to listen to the President’s address. 

Jimmy Carter First Lady Box

The First Lady’s Box at the 1979 State of the Union. January 23, 1979. (by the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration.)

The guests who sit with the First Lady in her box are nicknamed Lenny Skutniks, a name that dates back to 1982 when President Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan invited the first “honored guest”- Lenny Skutnik. Lenny was a federal employee who jumped into the Potomac River to rescue a passenger from a plane that had just crashed into the water.

This year, we have compiled a lot of great information on the First Lady's guests! Watch here as White House staffers call to inform the 2015 guests that they have been chosen to sit with the First Lady. Then meet all of the guests who will attend the State of the Union with First Lady Michelle Obama at

In the meantime, don't forget to get ready for the speech: Go to -- 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.

And, while you’re waiting to hear what President Obama will announce this year, look at some of the highlights from last year’s State of the Union address at

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