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
- Oral Histories of Donald Trump's Housing Discrimination Case, the Central Park Five, and More
- A Stolen Letter Written by Alexander Hamilton in 1780 Resurfaces
- ‘It’s art activism’: Charleston artists gather at Calhoun monument, urge its removal
- Chinese Railroad Workers Were Almost Written Out of History. Now They’re Getting Their Due.
- Mayor and ‘Foreign Minister’: How Bernie Sanders Brought the Cold War to Burlington
- The Partisan
- If “living history” role-plays in the classroom can so easily go wrong, why do teachers keep assigning them?
- MIT just cracked open an historic time capsule–here’s what was inside
- Historian Ben Macintyre reveals the gripping story of the KGB agent who saved us from Armageddon in 1983
- Peter Cole's ‘Dockworker Power’ Highlights Transnational Struggles for Justice