State of the Union

President Obama will deliver address on January 12.

President Obama will deliver address on January 12.

President Obama will deliver address on January 12.

President Obama will deliver address on January 12.

President Obama will deliver address on January 12.

At the invitation of Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan, President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on January 12, 2016 at 9:00 p.m. (ET).

In his letter to President Obama, Speaker Ryan said: "As we look ahead to the new year, we have both an opportunity and an obligation to find common ground to advance the nation's interests at home and abroad. We also owe it to the American people to present solutions that address the challenges they face."

Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution requires the President to report to the American people: "He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information on the State of the Union."

George Washington delivered the first address on January 8, 1790. Beginning with Thomas Jefferson, Presidents sent a written report until Woodrow Wilson revived the custom of giving a speech in 1913. Since Franklin Roosevelt, the speech is typically given in January.

Learn about the evolution of the State of the Union Address and get a historic view of the 158-year-old House Chamber by checking out the Historian's website and by following @USHouseHistory and #SOTUHistory on Twitter before and during the president's speech.