February 24th, 2009
03:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama address: 220 and counting


(CNN) – President Obama’s speech Tuesday night will mark the 220th annual message from a U.S. president to Congress.

The vast majority of these presidential messages were not delivered in person as a speech to lawmakers. Although Presidents George Washington and John Adams delivered the annual message as speeches, Thomas Jefferson ended the tradition — the nation’s third chief executive said it was too similar to the British practice of the king addressing parliament. The annual message was delivered in written form until 1913, when Woodrow Wilson resumed delivering the message as a speech before Congress.

Obama’s address Tuesday will mark the 76th time a U.S. president has relayed his message to legislators by speaking in person.

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