-- Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution
George Washington delivered the first State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1790 in New York City, which was the provisional U.S. capital city at the time. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson de-cided that delivering the address in person was too similar to what a king would do in a monarchy, so he submitted his address in writing, to be read by a clerk. This continued until 1913, when President Woodrow Wilson reinsti-tuted the practice of delivering it in person
The speech was actually referred to as "The President's Annual Message to Congress" up until 1934, when President Franklin D. Roose-velt used the phrase "State of the Union".
Some interesting facts about the State of the Union Address:
Calvin Coolidge's 1923 speech was the first to be broadcast on radio.
Harry S Truman's 1947 address was the first to be broadcast on television.
Lyndon Johnson's 1965 address was the first delivered at night.
His 1968 was the first to be broadcast without a time limit imposed by television networks.
Ronald Reagan was the only President to postpone the address (due to the Challenger shuttle disaster).
Bill Clinton's 1997 address was the first broadcast live on the internet.