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Posted at 2:10 PM ET, 01/24/2011

State of the Union: President Wilson leaves 'official Washington agape' in 1913

By Matt DeLong

From deep within the Washington Post archives, here's an article dated April 7, 1913, describing President Woodrow Wilson's decision to bring back the "long-abandoned custom" of personally presenting his ideas to Congress in the form of a State of the Union address.

According to the article, "all official Washington was agape" over Wilson's move, which forced members of the House and Senate to "delve into old tomes to learn proper course of procedure." The reason was that no president had delivered a State of the Union speech since 1801, after which Thomas Jefferson abandoned the practice "to prevent embarrassment," according to the 1913 Post article.

Read the article below. If you are having trouble viewing this document click here.

(Thanks to Post reporter Karen Tumulty for unearthing this relic.)

Full State of the Union coverage.

By Matt DeLong  | January 24, 2011; 2:10 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Very interesting history. Wondering if Karen Tumulty, whom you credit with finding the article, is related to Wilson's Secretary Tumulty?

Posted by: onewing1 | January 25, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Fascinating. Kudos to the staffer who unearthed this. Please note, however, that the copyright notice on the enlarged version is inappropriate. This artlcle has long been out of copyright.

Posted by: los22 | January 25, 2011 8:00 AM | Report abuse

This is so cool - thanks for posting!

Posted by: kcalligaro | January 24, 2011 10:56 PM | Report abuse

We can certainly do without the Address. From any President.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 24, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

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