Donald Trump's SOTU fiasco: Historians say it's unprecedentedHistorians in the News
tags: historians, State of the Union, shutdown, Trump
In light of President Trump's decision to delay his State of the Union address until after the government shutdown has ended, an inevitable question arises: Has this kind of finagling over the president's big annual speech to Congress ever happened before?
The answer is no, although it's important to note that State of the Union addresses have not always existed in the form we're accustomed to seeing today. Thomas Jefferson established the precedent in 1801 of delivering an address to Congress -- but in writing, not in person. It wasn't until Woodrow Wilson in 1913 that presidents began to trek to Capitol Hill to deliver the big speech live.
"Wilson is credited with transforming the annual message from a kind of rote listing of accomplishments and issues to a defining moment for the ruling party's agenda," Gautham Rao, a history professor at American University, told Salon by email.
comments powered by Disqus
- Josh Hawley Earns F in Early American History
- Does Germany's Holocaust Education Give Cover to Nativism?
- "Car Brain" Has Long Normalized Carnage on the Roads
- Hawley's Use of Fake Patrick Henry Quote a Revealing Error
- Health Researchers Show Segregation 100 Years Ago Harmed Black Health, and Effects Continue Today
- Nelson Lichtenstein on a Half Century of Labor History
- Can America Handle a 250th Anniversary?
- New Research Shows British Industrialization Drew Ironworking Methods from Colonized and Enslaved Jamaicans
- The American Revolution Remains a Hotly Contested Symbolic Field
- Untangling Fact and Fiction in the Story of a Nazi-Era Brothel