National Affairs: STATE OF THE UNION

Fashions in presidential speeches change with about the same speed as fashions in men's clothes. But they do change. State of the Union messages were delivered in person by Washington and John Adams; Jefferson established a new tradition of sending them to Congress to be read by a clerk. Woodrow Wilson, a forceful speaker, revived the personal appearance. This week Harry Truman went back to the conventional Jefferson style. But he set a precedent of his own by sending Congress the longest such document on record—25,000 words;

The President had fully stated his domestic...

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