Presidential Elections

Inaugurations and the First One Hundred Days

Is there a State of the Union address every year?

Since World War II, there have occasionally been times when a president has not delivered an annual address. Several recent presidents—Ronald Reagan in 1981, George Bush in 1989, and Bill Clinton in 1993—have chosen not to give an official State of the Union address the year they were first inaugurated as president. Other presidents, such as Reagan and Bush, have chosen not to deliver a message immediately prior to their departure from office (although President Reagan delivered a televised farewell address from the Oval Office on January 8, 1989). And both incoming and outgoing presidents have occasionally given State of the Union messages within weeks of each other. President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s first message, delivered to Congress on February 7, 1953, followed on the heels of President Harry S. Truman’s final message, delivered to Congress just a month earlier.


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