The State of the Union presents a sitting president with the chance to address the nation, set out new proposals and discuss past concerns.
But not every president has given an in-person State of the Union, which now makes its way to people through television, internet and social media. There are two presidents, President James A. Garfield and President William Henry Harrison who did not give a State of the Union address at all.
Now it's become commonplace to address a joint Congress along with a televised audience. There have been 93 in-person State of the Union addresses prior to Tuesday night, according to history.house.gov. The message itself only began to be informally called the State of the Union from 1942 to 1946.
Here is a graphic with the average length of the State of the Union address.
President Jimmy Carter had the longest written State of the Union at 33,667 words in 1981, while President Bill Clinton had the longest spoken State of the Union in 1995. The speech was 9,190 words.
Here is a graphic with the average words per State of the Union.
Want to know the viewership of the State of the Union? Graphiq has this chart to show it.