WASHINGTON (AP) The farewell address President Barack Obama plans to deliver Tuesday will continue a tradition established by the nation's first president more than two centuries ago.
In a 32-page, handwritten address after eight years in office, George Washington used his parting remarks to urge Americans to see themselves as a cohesive unit and to avoid political parties.
[...] it wasn't until Harry Truman's televised goodbye from the Oval Office late on Jan. 15, 1953, that such an address became standard for presidents.
Presidents give farewell addresses primarily to reflect on their achievements during their four or eight years, sometimes even including expressions of regret for promises left unfulfilled, said Marc Selverstone, associate professor at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, which studies the presidency.
The Republican president-elect has pledged to overturn much of what Obama put in place, including the Affordable Care Act, executive orders on immigration and other issues, and environmental regulations, among them.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest says Obama wants to give a "forward-looking speech" that will examine U.S. progress during his tenure, but that he also wants to spend time talking about the challenges ahead and what he thinks is necessary to confront them.
The phrase "military-industrial complex" came from Dwight D. Eisenhower as he warned against militarism in an Oval Office farewell on Jan. 17, 1961.
To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body, Nixon said as he addressed the nation from the Oval Office.
For the chance to see Obama in person, thousands of people stood for hours Saturday in single-digit temperatures in a line that snaked around the convention center, hoping to score a ticket.