What is the State of the Union Address Really About?

The State of the Union Address has been an American tradition since 1790.  The President of the United States addresses Congress, reports the current condition of the country, and also presents legislative plans.  But, does the content of speeches change over time?  To examine this question, DASIL staff downloaded the full text of every State of the Union Address, and I used NVivo to analyze them.

Some topics have been more pressing in recent times—like terrorism.

Graph of Mentions of Terrorism in State of the Union Addresses

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Visualizing Congress

The 114th Congress of the United States convened last week. In honor of the occasion, here are three fun and informative visualizations of data on Congress from around the Web:

224 years of changes in the partisan and ideological makeup of Congress, courtesy of Randall Munroe of XKCD: The United States Congress visualization by Randall Munroe of XKCD

Create your own line graphs comparing the frequencies with which words were used on the floor of the House and the Senate by Democratic and Republican members of Congress at capitolwords.org, a project of the Sunlight Foundation.

Visualize how bills and resolutions move through Congress using Leg/Ex, the Legislative Explorer, a project of the University of Washington Center for American Politics and Public Policy.

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