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THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS: FACTOIDS
Did You Know?
1. Originally called the "Annual Message", it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who first used the phrase the "State of the Union" address. Interestingly, the words "State of the Union" appear in the U.S. Constitution.
2. Although there aren't assigned seats for the State of the Union Address, usually Senators sit on the sides and members of the House sit in the middle of the House chamber.
3.William Henry Harrison didn't give a State of the Union Address as he was only president for 31 days. He caught a cold during his Inauguration Day ceremonies and died soon after. He was the first president to die while in office.The only other president to not give a State of the Union Address was James Garfield. He was assassinated.
4. One member of the President's cabinet does not attend the State of the Union Address. This "designated survivor" is taken to a secret location until the end of the speech.
5. President James Polk announced during his speech that gold was discovered in California!
6. The State of the Union Address is given to the Congress at the U.S. Capitol.
7. During his last State of the Union Speech, President Harry S. Truman announced that a hydrogen bomb had been developed.
1. Ask the students to share any prior knowledge they may have on the State of the Union Address. Have the students read over the fact sheet and do the You Turn.
2. Regroup and discuss.
3. You may want to share with students the Order of Presidential Succession: https://www.usa.gov/presidents#item-35877
Check out this resource to have students learn more about the history of the State of the Union Address.There are 10 web questions, 9 Did You Know? Facts, 6 comprehension questions, a student page(handout to give for homework or extra credit for the night of the State of the Union Address), a teacher page with a couple of extension activities and the key to both the web quest and the comprehension questions.This would be a great opportunity to bring the news into the classroom with the 2018 State of the Union Address scheduled for January 30th.