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  List of Acknowledged Guests Sitting in the House Gallery During State of the Union Addresses
  
Reagan - Obama
  * denotes addresses not considered official State of the Union messages

President
Date Guest
Ronald Reagan

 

 
  January 26, 1982 
  • Lenny Skutnik: Federal Government employee who dove into the icy Potomic River after the Air Florida crash to save a woman
  January 25, 1983         None
January 25, 1984 
  • Sgt. Stephen Trujillo: Sergeant, US Army who participated in the U.S. involvement in Grenada
  February 6, 1985 
  • Mother Clara Hale: from Harlem, NYC, New York who cares for abandoned children
  • Cadet Jean Nguyen: Cadet, United States Military Academy at West Point
  February 4, 1986 
  • Trevor Ferrell: 13-year old who helps the homeless in Philadelphia
  • Shelby Butler: 13-year old school safety patrol hero
  • Tyrone Ford: 12-year old music prodigy
  • Richard Cavoli: private citizen who designed a science experiment in high school that was lost during the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger
  January 27, 1987         None
January 25, 1988 
  • Nancy Reagan: First Lady, in recognition of her anti-drug efforts
George Bush    
  *February 9, 1989         None
  January 31, 1990 
  • Gov. Carroll Campbell: Governor (R-SC) who worked with the president in setting national education goals
  • Gov. Terry Branstad: Governor (R-IA) who worked with the president in setting national education goals
  • Gov. Bill Clinton: Governor (D-AR) who worked with the president in setting national education goals
  • Gov. Booth Gardner: Governor (D-WA) who worked with the president in setting national education goals
January 29, 1991 
  • Alma Powell: wife of General Colin Powell
  • Brenda Schwarzkopf: wife of General Norman Schwarzkopf
January 28, 1992         None
William J. Clinton

 

 
  *February 17, 1993         None
  January 25, 1994 
  • Kevin Jett: New York City police officer
  • Jim Brady: former Reagan Press Secretary who was wounded in the 1981 attempt to assassinate President Reagan
  January 24, 1995 
  • Jack Lucas: Congressional Medal of Honor receipient who fought at Iwo Jima - from Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  • Reverend Diana Cherry: AME Zion Church in Temple Hills, MD
  • Reverend John Cherry: AME Zion Church in Temple Hills, MD
  • Cpl. Gregory Depestre: who participated in U.S. involvement in Haiti
  • Chief Stephen Bishop: Police Chief, Kansas City, MO active in community policing
  • Cindy Perry: Kentucky teacher in the AmeriCorps Program
  January 23, 1996 
  • Sgt. Jennifer Rodgers: Sergeant, Oklahoma City Police Department who helped save victims of the bombing of the Federal Building
  • Lucius Wright: Teacher in Jackson, MS who works to keep kids from joining gangs
  • Richard Dean: Social Security Administration employee in Oklahoma City who assisted victims of the bombing of the Federal Building
  • Gen. Barry McCaffrey: as nominee to become Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
  February 4, 1997 
  • Gov. Gary Locke: Governor (D-WA) who is the first Chinese-American state governor
  • Mary Alice (Tejeda?): sister of Texas Congressman Frank Tejeda who was buried the day before the President's address
  • Lillie Tejeda: mother of Texas Congressman Frank Tejeda who was buried the day before the President's address
  • Dr. Kristen Zarfos: Connecticut surgeon
  • Sue Winski: from Illinois, teacher of students Tanner and Getsler
  • Chris Getsler: from Illinois, among students who tied for first in the world in science and came in second in math in the Third International Math and Science Study 
  • Kristen Tanner: from Illinois, among students who tied for first in the world in science and came in second in math in the Third International Math and Science Study 
January 27, 1998 
  • Sgt. Michael Tolbert: Sergeant, US Army who participated in U.S. involvement in Bosnia
  • Elaine Kinslow: private citizen from Indianapolis, IN who was noted as a model of someone coming off welfare
January 19, 1999 
  • Rosa Parks: Civil Rights pioneer 
  • Suzann Wilson: a gun-control advocate from Jonesboro, Arkansas
  • Sammy Sosa: professional baseball player, Chicago Cubs
  • Captain Jeff Taliaferro: U.S. Air Force who flew a B-1B bomber over Iraq in Operation Desert Fox
  • Tipper Gore: wife of Vice-President Al Gore who led efforts to address mental illness
  • Wenling Chestnut: widow of Capitol police officer killed in the line of duty
  • Lyn Gibson: widow of Capitol police officer killed in the line of duty
January 27, 2000 
  • Hank Aaron: former professional baseball player and career home run leader
  • Janet Cohen: wife of Defense Secretary William Cohen who worked to show public support for service personnel
  • Captain John Cherrey: U.S. Air Force pilot who rescued an American pilot shot down over Bosnia
  • Tom Mauser: father of Daniel Mauser who was killed during a rampage at Columbine High School in Colorado
  • Carlos Rosas: private citzen from St. Paul, MN
  • Lloyd Bentsen: former U.S. Senator and Clinton's first Treasury Secretary
George W. Bush    
  *February 27, 2001 
  • Josefina Ramos: private citizen from Pennsylvania whom the Presiden't cited as an example of an ordinary American who would be advantaged by tax cuts
  • Steven Ramos: private citizen from Pennsylvania whom the Presiden't cited as an example of an ordinary American who would be advantaged by tax cuts
  • Mayor John Street: Mayor of Philadelphia who promoted faith-based initiatives
  January 29, 2002 
  • Christina Jones: flight attendant who helped thwart an attempt to detonate a "shoe bomb"
  • Hermis Moutardier: flight attendant who helped thwart an attempt to detonate a "shoe bomb"
  • Shannon Spann: widow of CIA officer Michael Spann who was killed in Afghanistan
  • Dr. Sima Samar: Afghanistan's Minister of Women's Affairs
  • Chairman Hamid Karzai: leader of Afghanistan
  January 28, 2003         None
  January 20, 2004 
  • Adnan Pachachi: President of the Iraqi Governing Council
  February 2, 2005 
  • Safia Taleb al-Suhail: an Iraqi democracy and human rights activist whose father was killed by Saddam Hussein
  • Bill Norwood: father of Marine Corps Sergeant Byron Norwood of Pflugerville, Texas who was killed during the assult on Fallujah in Iraq
  • Janet Norwood: mother of Marine Corps Sergeant Byron Norwood of Pflugerville, Texas who was killed during the assult on Fallujah in Iraq
January 31, 2006 
  • Bud Clay: father of Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Dan Clay who was killed in Fallujah in Iraq
  • Sara Jo Clay: mother of Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Dan Clay who was killed in Fallujah in Iraq
  • Lisa Clay: widow of Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Dan Clay who was killed in Fallujah in Iraq
January 23, 2007 
  • Sergeant Tommy Rieman: volunteer member of the U.S. Army who earned the Silver Star for bravery in action
  • Wesley Autrey: hero who jumped onto subway tracks in Harlem to save a man
  • Julie Aigner-Clark: businesswoman who started the Baby Einstein Company. After being bought by the Walt Disney Corporation, it has grown into a $200 million business. After her business success she devotes time helping missing and exploited children.
  • Dikembe Mutombo: Georgetown and NBA basketball star from Africa who earned U.S. citizenship and later built a hospital in his native Congo.
January 28, 2008         None
Barack Obama

 

 
  *February 24, 2009 
  • Leonard Abess: "a bank president from Miami who reportedly cashed out of his company, took a $60 million bonus, and gave it out to all 399 people who worked for him, plus another 72 who used to work for him."
  • Ty'Sheoma Bethea: a schoolgirl from Dillon, South Carolina who wrote a letter to members of Congress asking for help to revitalize her school.
  January 27, 2010         None
  January 25, 2011 
  • Robert and Gary Allen: Partners in the family business, Allen Brothers Inc., a roofing products manufacturing company. With the help of $500,000 from the Recovery Act, the Allen brothers were able to retool half of their manufacturing facility.
  • Kathy Proctor: When she was laid off in 2009, Kathy began taking classes in biotechnology at Forsyth Technical Community College. Kathy will graduate in July 2011, with an Associate Degree in Science.
  • James Howard: Diagnosed with brain cancer in March 2010. He was able to join the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan to get medical treatment.
  • Jim Houser: Owner of an auto repair shop in Portland, Oregon. The Affordable Care Act provides tax credits for his small business to offer employees health insurance.
  • Brandon Fisher: Owner of a small business, Center Rock, in Berlin, Pennsylvania that specializes in a new kind of drilling technology. Center Rock manufactured the drill bits and other equipment used to find and rescue 33 trapped Chilean miners in October 2010.
  January 24, 2012 
  • Jackie Bray: "a single mom from North Carolina who was laid off from her job as a mechanic. Then Siemens opened a gas turbine factory in Charlotte, and formed a partnership with Central Piedmont Community College. The company helped the college design courses in laser and robotics training. It paid Jackie's tuition, then hired her to help operate their plant."
  • Bryan Ritterby: "was laid off from his job making furniture, he said he worried that at 55, no one would give him a second chance. But he found work at Energetx, a wind turbine manufacturer in Michigan. Before the recession, the factory only made luxury yachts. Today, it's hiring workers like Bryan, who said, 'I'm proud to be working in the industry of the future.'"
  February 12, 2013
  • Nate and Cleo Pendleton: The parents of Hadiya Pendleton, a majorette who performed with her classmates at the President's second inauguration. Hadiya was killed by gunfire in a Chicago park just a week after the inauguration.
  • Menchu Sanchez: A New York City nurse who cared for 20 newborn children during Hurricane Sandy.
  • Desiline Victor: A 102 year-old woman from North Miami who waited six hours to vote in the 2012 Election.
  • Brian Murphy: A police officer from Wisconsin who was a first responder to a shooting at a Sikh temple. He continued to fight the shooters and was shot 12 times.
  January 28, 2014
  • Andra Rush: Started Detroit Manufacturing Systems and found trained employees through an "American Jobs Center".
  • Misty DeMars: A mother and wife who has been employed since she was a teenager who lost needed unemployment benefits when Congress chose not to extend unemployment compensation benefits.
  • Estiven Rodriguez: The son of a factory worker who emigrated to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic and learned English at age nine. He recently was admitted to college.
  • Nick Chute and his employer John Soranno who owns "Punch Pizza" in Minneapolis. Soranno voluntarily decided to raise his workers' wages above the minimum wage to $10 per hour.
  • Amanda Shelley: A physician's assistant and single mom from Arizona who previously could not obtain health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. Under the Affordable Care Act, she was able to obtain a policy and days later, needed emergency surgery and was covered.
  • Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky: Acknowledged by the president as a governor committed to making sure his state's citizens have health insurance.
  • Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg: An Army Ranger who was almost killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. "Over the years, he's endured dozens of surgeries and procedures, hours of grueling rehab every day."

Compiled by Gerhard Peters

Citation: Gerhard Peters. "Guests Sitting in the House Gallery During State of the Union Addresses." The American Presidency Project. Ed. John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters. Santa Barbara, CA: University of California. 1999-2014. Available from the World Wide Web: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/sou_gallery.php.



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