A presidential address to both chambers of Congress dates back to the days of George Washington.
Here are some intriguing numbers from this most American of traditions.
the number of State of the Union addresses delivered by Franklin Roosevelt, the most by any president
The number of times the State of the Union has been postponed. Ronald Reagan’s 1986 address was postponed because of the space shuttle Challenger explosion. Donald Trump’s address tonight was postponed because of the government shutdown.
the year when the State of the Union first aired on the radio
the number of politicians since 1966 who gave the opposition's response to a SOTU speech who later became president: Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton
first time the State of the Union was webcast
the number of SOTUs delivered in person
member of the president's cabinet who doesn't attend, in order to preserve the line of succession
the number of presidents who never gave an SOTU address (William Henry Harrison and James Garfield)
the number of words in the longest written SOTU, by Jimmy Carter in 1981
the number of words in the longest spoken SOTU, by Bill Clinton in 1995
the number of words in the shortest SOTU, by George Washington in 1790
the number of empty seats left in the gallery to honor September 11 victims, in 2003
when the SOTU was first televised in prime-time