Katie Couric's Notebook: Speaking To History
Notebook: State Of The Union
The Constitution says that the president--quote--"shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend...measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."
The idea came from the tradition of British kings addressing Parliament.
Washington and Adams gave their speeches before Congress, but Jefferson thought the ceremony too much like England's. For the next hundred and twelve years, the State of the Union was given in writing, until Woodrow Wilson chose to deliver it again in a speech.
Which brings us to an interesting tradition: with the most powerful people in America gathered in that chamber, one person is always missing: a cabinet member, who can assume the presidency in case of emergency.
That way, the state of the union can remain solid and intact -- as it has for generations.
That's a page from my notebook.
- Okla. tornado survivor finds dog buried alive under rubble
- 5/23: Obama: The war on terror, "like all wars, must end"; baby born as tornado struck
- Oklahoma miracle baby -- born amidst tornado chaos
- Teacher injured in Okla. tornado takes first steps
- Storm spotter: Oklahoma tornado "a nightmare"
- CBS News goes undercover in a Bangladesh clothing factory
- Man killed in brutal London attack
- Survivor of Bangladesh factory collapse speaks out
- Injured third-grade teacher tells of trying to protect students
- President Obama defends drone strikes
- Resentment over wars may have motivated London terror attack
- Mother-to-be was in labor as Oklahoma tornado hit
- 5/22: Residents return to tornado-ravaged neighborhoods; Undercover in a Bangladesh clothing factory
- Parents ask why Okla. schools don't have tornado shelters
- Angry Pakistanis fight to end U.S. drone strikes
- Did Obama admin. know of IRS targeting during campaign?