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Oval Office Addresses

FILE - President Barack Obama reads his speech to photographers after delivering a primetime televised address from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Aug. 31, 2010.

Oval Office Addresses

Nationally televised addresses delivered from the Oval Office at the White House by U.S. presidents are usually reserved for major events of national or international importance.

Notable speeches:

The first televised address from the presidential office was delivered in 1947 by President Harry S. Truman, who urged Americans to conserve food to aid postwar Europe.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower used the format in 1957 to inform the United States of his decision to send troops to Little Rock, Arkansas to enforce school desegregation.

Other notable speeches from the Oval Office include: John F. Kennedy's 1962 news of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Ronald Reagan's speech following the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986 and George W. Bush's address on the evening of the 2001 September 11 terrorist attacks.


This will only be President Barack Obama's third address from the Oval Office. His predecessor George W. Bush gave twice as many speeches from the famous venue. President Bill Clinton gave 13, President George H.W. Bush gave 11 and President Ronald Reagan topped the list of recent orators with 16 speeches.

President Obama:

June 15, 2010: President Obama first addressed the nation from the Oval Office after the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that began in April 2010 and is thought to have spilled as many as 210 million gallons of oil into the sensitive environmental system.

The president addressed the nation in June to talk about the government’s all-out response to the crisis, the steps being taken to make sure such a crisis does not happen again, and the longer term crisis of America’s reliance on fossil fuels.

August 31, 2010: Obama next spoke from the presidential office to herald the end of U.S. military combat operations in Iraq and to remind the American people of his pledge to bring the war to a close.

"Operation Iraqi Freedom is over," the president said. "The Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country. This was my pledge to the American people as a candidate for this office."

December 6, 2015: The president gave an update on the ongoing investigation of the tragic attack in San Bernardino, California. He also discussed the broader threat of terrorism -- including the nature of the threat, how it has evolved, and how we will defeat it.