12 of the most unforgettable moments from State of the Union addresses
The State of the Union address allows the US president to update Congress on the nation's progress.
Former President Harry S. Truman's speech in 1947 was the first to be broadcast on television.
Nancy Pelosi ripped up a copy of Donald Trump's speech after he finished speaking.
Parts of Abraham Lincoln's State of the Union speech were leaked and it prompted an investigation.
Hours after Abraham Lincoln sent his State of the Union address to Congress, the newspaper The New York Herald published a few excerpts from the speech that had been leaked. Readers of the paper got to see parts of the speech before it was formally released.
The leak prompted the House Judiciary Committee to launch an investigation into the cause of the leaks in February 1862.
Harry S. Truman's speech in 1947 was the first to be broadcast on television.
In 1947, Harry S. Truman's State of the Union address was the first to be televised. At the time, television owners were only in the thousands, so most Americans missed his debut, instead listening to it on the radio.
Richard Nixon called for an end to the Watergate investigation during his State of the Union address in 1974.
In Nixon's 1974 address, he called for an end to the Watergate investigation, saying, "one year of Watergate is enough."
Then, just seven months later, the Watergate Scandal led Nixon to resign after five and a half years in office.
Ronald Reagan invited Lenny Skutnik to the address in 1982, starting a new tradition for State of the Union addresses.
Reagan was the first president to bring a guest to honor at the State of the Union address, which began an annual tradition of recognizing everyday American heroes.
Congressional Budget Office employee Lenny Skutnik was honored for saving the life of Priscilla Tirado after an Air Florida plane crashed into the freezing Potomac River. He sat beside the First Lady during the address.
Bill Clinton called for an end to big government during his address in 1996.
In President Clinton's 1996 address, which came after a 21-day government shutdown, he spoke of the need for an end to big government.
Later that year, he approved a Republican-sponsored idea for welfare reform.
Networks cut away from Clinton's State of the Union address in 1997 to air the OJ Simpson verdict.
Clinton's 1997 address was coming to an end right as the jury was about to deliver the verdict for OJ Simpson's highly publicized criminal trial.
Networks cut straight from his address to the Simpson trial before the Republican response to Clinton's address was aired.
George W. Bush coined "Axis of Evil" in his 2002 address, marking the beginning of the Iraq War.
Soon after the 9/11 attacks, Bush labeled North Korea, Iran, and Iraq as an "Axis of Evil," arguing in favor of what would become the Iraq War.
Justice Samuel Alito shook his head in disagreement during Obama's 2010 State of the Union address.
As Obama criticized the Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance, the camera cut to Justice Samuel Alito, who quietly mouthed "not true," according to Politico's reports.
Joe Biden pointed during Obama's State of the Union address.
During Obama's State of the Union address in 2014, many couldn't help but be distracted by former Vice President Joe Biden's sudden pointing and laughing behind the president.
Many wondered what or who Biden was pointing at during the speech
It instantly became a meme and Biden later explained he was pointing up at a senator who he neglected to name.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fell asleep during Obama's 2015 State of the Union address.
Justice Ginsburg was caught on camera during Obama's 2015 address with her head fully bowed, taking a nap.
Later, as per Reuters reports, she explained why her head was down: "The audience, for the most part, is awake, but they're bobbing up and down all the time. And we sit there as stone-faced, sober judges. But we're not. At least I wasn't 100% sober when we went to the State of the Union."
Donald Trump shrugged off a handshake from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ahead of the 2020 State of the Union.
When Trump entered the chambers to give his 2020 State of the Union speech, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi offered a handshake in an attempt at being cordial with the president.
He seemed to ignore her handshake and walked right past her. Pelosi shrugged it off and was seen shaking her head and looking down throughout the duration of his address.
Pelosi ripped up a copy of Trump's 2020 State of the Union speech after he finished speaking.
After he finished speaking during his 2020 State of the Union, Pelosi was seen ripping up a copy of Trump's speech right behind him.
When asked why she did that, she said, "Because it was the courteous thing to do. It was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative." It is not clear what she meant by "the alternative."
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