Longest State of the Union

Monday, January 9, AD 2017

At just over a thousand words, George Washington delivered the shortest State of the Union address.  The longest was by Jimmy Carter on January 16, 1981 at 33, 667 words.  Mercifully he sent it as a written message rather than delivering it as a speech.  If he had attempted to give it as a speech, he would have been speaking for around six hours.  Here is the text:

To the Congress of the United States:
The State of the Union is sound. Our economy is recovering from a recession. A national energy plan is in place and our dependence on foreign oil is decreasing. We have been at peace for four uninterrupted years.
But, our Nation has serious problems. Inflation and unemployment are unacceptably high. The world oil market is increasingly tight. There are trouble spots throughout the world, and 53 American hostages are being held in Iran against international law and against every precept of human affairs.1
However, I firmly believe that, as a result of the progress made in so many domestic and international areas over the past four years, our Nation is stronger, wealthier, more compassionate and freer than it was four years ago. I am proud of that fact. And I believe the Congress should be proud as well, for so much of what has been accomplished over the past four years has been due to the hard work, insights and cooperation of Congress. I applaud the Congress for its efforts and its achievements.
In this State of the Union Message I want to recount the achievements and progress of the last four years and to offer recommendations to the Congress for this year. While my term as President will end before the 97th Congress begins its work in earnest, I hope that my recommendations will serve as a guide for the direction this country should take so we build on the record of the past four years.

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4 Responses to Longest State of the Union

  • Oh good grief, when I first saw the header “longest state of the union” I was thinking California..or Florida?
    ha. Sorry, I have nothing pertinent to say. I never do.

  • Yeech, what a prolix obsessive-compulsive mess. I’d forgotten all about this. It was Milton Cummings (IIRC) who, ca 1981, interviewed a flag-rank officer about some of his superiors. He offered that James Schlesinger was ‘more of a forest man’ while Harold Brown was ‘more of a tree man’. Asked about the President, he said, ‘Carter? He was a leaf man’. The man couldn’t set priorities worth sour apples and would involve himself in trivia like setting the schedule for use of the White House tennis courts. So, he works 16 hour days and flounders while Ronald Reagan worked 9 hour shifts and accomplishes things, because Reagan was a natural administrator who knew how to delegate authority. Reagan and the Bushes are the only post-Eisenhower presidents who really belonged in executive positions.

  • Nancy

    I disagree with you.
    Your honesty and charm is very pertinent.

    As far as peanut man goes…Well by the time I read through the; Food. The War on Hunger, I was on my third Billy Beer.

  • Lol, Nancyv, I thought the same thing. “Must be California!”