State of the Union Address 2012

House Speaker John Boehner welcomes President Barack Obama to the House Chamber for the 2012 State of the Union Address.

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President Obama addressed members of the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, along with hundreds of distinguished guests, for a little over one hour.

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Each of the House Chamber’s 446 seats was filled for the 2012 State of the Union Address.

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Attendees included the President’s Cabinet, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Chief Justice and Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. Diplomatic Corps.

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Members of the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, along with hundreds of distinguished guests, convened at the Capitol on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, for the State of the Union Address. President Barack Obama delivered the nationally televised speech at 9 p.m., his third and the 91st State of the Union Address in United States history.

Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution requires the president to “give to the Congress Information on the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

The address, formerly known as the “Annual Message,” has a fascinating history. Live addresses to Congress were given by Presidents Washington and Adams, but in 1801 President Thomas Jefferson chose to submit his address in writing. That tradition held until President Woodrow Wilson resumed the practice of delivering a live address in 1913.

In addition to Members of Congress, attendees also included the President’s Cabinet, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Chief Justice and Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. Diplomatic Corps.