Fun facts and trivia about the annual State of the Union address

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Associated Press
The Capitol Building will play host to Washington's most powerful figures during a State of the Union address, but at least one cabinet member will be absent — the designated survivor.

By tradition, one Cabinet secretary is chosen to the "designated survivor" and is required to skip the president's speech in case of a catastrophe that wipes out the president, vice president, Supreme Court justices and other Cabinet secretaries, as well as members of Congress.

In 2012, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack skipped the speech, while Interior Secreatry Ken Salazar missed it the year before, PBS reported. Those chosen are "told to be discreet."

A 2006 Senate document said that a post-Sept. 11th development, beginning in 2003, also kept two members of each house of Congress, representing both parties, away from the Capitol.

>> Cabinet members applaud President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012.
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