Dec 3, 2011

The State of the Union Is Bad

(NYTimes) On Dec. 3, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his first Annual Message, the equivalent of our modern State of the Union. In the 19th century, presidents summarized progress at the end of the year rather than the beginning, which gives a little more perspective on things.
The phrase “the State of the Union” dates from 1934, when Franklin D. Roosevelt used it for the first time. Nor was it spoken, as it has been, generally, since Woodrow Wilson chose to travel down Pennsylvania Avenue and deliver his message verbally in 1913. (Jimmy Carter sent his in in 1981, a confession that things had not gone so well.)
Instead, Lincoln composed a long written document, and sent it to Congress. Continued