Los Angeles Times

From word count to opposition responses — here's how the State of the Union address has changed

Since 1790, when George Washington gave a brief speech to Congress on the condition of the country, presidents have issued an annual State of the Union message.

But for more than 100 years, the type of flap that occurred between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Trump over the use of the House chambers could not have happened. That's because presidents from Thomas Jefferson to William Howard Taft sent written State of the Union messages to Congress, Jefferson beginning the practice because of his concern that appearing before the legislative bodies resembled the practice of British

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