1997 State of the Union Address

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President Bill Clinton with Vice President Al Gore and House Speaker Newt Gingrich during the 1997 State of the Union address.

The 1997 State of the Union address was given by President Bill Clinton to a joint session of the 105th United States Congress on February 4, 1997. The speech was the first State of the Union address of President Clinton's second term.

President Clinton discussed numerous topics in the address, including the environment, the International Space Station, welfare, crime and relations with NATO and China. The president also focused on a "detailed plan to balance the budget by 2002".

The Republican Party response was delivered by Oklahoma congressman J. C. Watts in front of high school students sponsored by the Close Up Foundation.[1]

Dan Glickman, the Secretary of Agriculture, served as the designated survivor.[2]

The speech was broadcast live on television and radio and lasted 1:04:21 and consisted of 6,774 words.[3]

This was the first State of the Union Address carried live on the Internet.[4]


  1. ^ Richard E. Sincere, Jr. (February 1997). "O.J., J.C., and Bill: Reflections on the State of the Union". Metro Herald. Archived from the original on 2002-07-31. Retrieved 2007-01-23. Watts told his audience -- about 100 high school students from the CloseUp Foundation watched in person, while a smaller number watched on television at home -- that he is "old enough to remember the Jim Crow" laws that affected him and his family while he grew up in a black neighborhood in small-town Oklahoma. 
  2. ^ Washington Post, "Agriculture's Glickman Draws Doomsday Duty for Address." Page A13. Feb 4, 1997
  3. ^ http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/sou_minutes.php
  4. ^ Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. "Office of the Clerk". Archived from the original on 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
1996 State of the Union Address
State of the Union addresses
Succeeded by
1998 State of the Union Address