Due to a special event taking place in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, September 18, there will be no tours of the U.S. Capitol that day until approximately noon. The Capitol Visitor Center will remain open during this time, and guided tours in the Capitol Visitor Center will be available.
The president is obliged by the Constitution to report to Congress on the state of the Union. In his 1862 message, President Lincoln aimed to rouse and re-inspire Congress after the terrible battle at Antietam in Maryland, the bloodiest conflict of the Civil War. He urged congress to ensure emancipation through a constitutional amendment. In the tradition of the time, this annual message was not read aloud by Lincoln but rather to the Senate by its Secretary and to the House by its Clerk.