The State of the Union is an annual address the president delivers before a joint session of Congress.

Its history dates back to the first leader of the nation, President George Washington, and it’s evolved and changed a number of times over the years.

In the present day, the State of the Union largely serves as an opportunity for the president to emphasize the ways in which he feels his administration has been successful while also laying out his agenda and hopes for the future.

Here’s the history behind the State of the Union.

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