State of the Union: Night of pomp and ceremony

Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution requires the President of the United States to periodically inform Congress of the “state of the union.”

President Barack Obama has fulfilled this constitutional requirement seven times to date. He will speak to a joint session of Congress Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2015, to deliver his final State of the Union address.

This gallery includes official White House photos taken at Obama’s previous State of the Union addresses, capturing some of the emotion, ceremony and sense of history surrounding the annual event.