Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address on January 30.

President Donald Trump will deliver his first State of the Union speech on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, at 9 pm. This won’t be his first address before Congress — he made one last year shortly after his inauguration. But it is the first State of the Union speech from America’s first former reality TV star president.

The State of the Union address feels like a very old American ritual, and it is. It’s mandated by the Constitution, which says the president shall “from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

Thomas Jefferson delivered the speech only in writing — perhaps because he was a terrible public speaker. Woodrow Wilson put his political science theories on presidential rhetoric into practice by reviving the in-person speech. And Ronald Reagan took advantage of television to show off special guests sitting in the crowd, a custom still in practice.

Now, Trump will continue the tradition, and most likely put his own spin on it.

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