Today in History: George Washington Delivers the First State of the Union Address

| January 8, 2019

956px-WashingtoncongressDid you know that on Tuesday, January 8th, 1790 President George Washington delivered the first state of the union address to members of the United States Congress in New York City? He outlined administration policies, created by Alexander Hamilton; discussed national defense and foreign affairs; and advised on the need for a Federal Post Office, post roads, and a way of educating future public servants in the republican principles of a representative government. Washington foresaw the good fortune in our country, influenced by North Carolina’s recent decision to join the republic and the approval of the Bill of Rights by member states.

George Washington’s state of the union address was the shortest one to be delivered in our nation’s history — a mere 1,089 words, which lasted approximately 10 minutes. Compare with the longest written one by President Jimmy Carter (33, 667 words) in 1981, and the longest speech, 9,190 words by President Bill Clinton in 1995.

It is expected that President Donal Trump will deliver his formal State of the Union address at 9 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, Jan. 22nd, before a joint session of Congress.

The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.

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