Joint Meeting & Joint Session Addresses Before Congress by Foreign Leaders & Dignitaries

The purpose of a Joint Meeting has usually been for Congress to hear an address from an important figure—generally a visiting foreign leader. This practice became a standard part of foreign leaders’ state visits to the United States after 1945.  In the early Congresses, a Joint Session or a House Reception was often used for the address.

There are two known instances of unofficial addresses by foreign leaders to the House and Senate in the House Chamber.  Referred to as a Joint Caucus of the House and Senate, President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica and President José Napoleón Duarte gave informal addresses on September 22, 1987, and October 15, 1987, respectively. 

DateAddresses by Foreign Heads-of-State and Dignitaries1
September 18, 2014Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 8, 2013Park Geun Hye, President of  Republic of Korea addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
October 13, 2011Lee Myung-bak, President of Republic of Korea addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 24, 2011 Binyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 9, 2011Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 20, 2010 Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, President of Mexico addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
November 3, 2009 Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 4, 2009Gordon Brown, Prime Minster of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 30, 2008Bertie Ahern, Prime Minister of Ireland addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
November 7, 2007Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the French Republic addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 7, 2007  King Abdullah II Bin Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
July 26, 2006 Dr. Nouri Al-Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 7, 2006 Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of Latvia addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 24, 2006 Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of Israel addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 15, 2006 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 1, 2006Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of the Republic of Italy addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
July 19, 2005Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 6, 2005Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 23, 2004Ayad Allawi, Interim Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 15, 2004Hamid Karzai, Prime Minister of the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
February 4, 2004Jose Maria Aznar, President of the Government of Spain addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
July 17, 2003Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 12, 2002John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. The scheduled address by Prime Minister John Howard of Australia to a Joint Meeting of Congress on September 12, 2001, was cancelled.
September 6, 2001Vicente Fox, President of Mexico addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 14, 2000Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
July 15, 1998Emil Constantinescu, President of Romania, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 10, 1998Kim Dae-jung, President of South Korea, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
February 27, 1997 Eduardo Frei, President of Chile, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 11, 1996John Bruton, Prime Minister of Ireland, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
July 10, 1996Benyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
February 1, 1996Jacques Chirac, President of France, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
December 12, 1995 Shimon Peres, Prime Minister of Israel, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 26, 1995 Kim Yong-sam, President of South Korea, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
October 6, 1994 Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
July 26, 1994 Hussein I, King of Jordan, and Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 18, 1994 Narasimba Rao, Prime Minister of India, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 17, 1992 Boris Yeltsin, President of Russia, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 30, 1992 Richard von Weizsäcker, President of Germany, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
November 14, 1991 Carlos Saul Menem, President of Argentina, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 16, 1991Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 16, 1991Violeta B. de Chamorro, President of Nicaragua, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 26, 1990Nelson Mandela, Deputy President of the African National Congress, South Africa, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 7, 1990 Giulio Andreotti, President of the Council of Ministers of Italy, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
February 21, 1990Vaclav Hável, President of Czechoslovakia, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
November 15, 1989Lech Walesa, chairman of SolidarnoϾ labor union, Poland, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
November 18, 1989 Roh Tae Woo, President of South Korea, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
October 4, 1989Carlos Salinas de Gortari, President of Mexico, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 7, 1989 Benazir Bhutto, Prime Minister of Pakistan, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 23, 1988Robert Hawke, Prime Minister of Australia, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 27, 1988Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
November 10, 1987 Chaim Herzog, President of Israel, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 18, 1986 Corazon C. Aquino, President of the Philippines, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 11, 1986 Jose Sarney, President of Brazil, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
October 9, 1985Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister of Singapore, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 13, 1985 Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 20, 1985Raul Alfonsin, President Argentina, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress
March 6, 1985 Bettino Craxi, President of the Council of Ministers of Italy, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
February 20, 1985 Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 16, 1984Miguel de la Madrid, President of Mexico, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 22, 1984 François Mitterand, President of France, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
March 15, 1984 Dr. Garett FitzGerald, Prime Minister of Ireland, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
October 5, 1983 Karl Carstens, President of West Germany, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 21, 1982Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
February 22, 1977Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau of Canada addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 23, 1976 President William R. Tolbert, Jr., of Liberia addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 2, 1976Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
May 18, 1976 President Valery Giscard d’Estaing of France addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
March 17, 1976Prime Minister Liam Cosgrave of Ireland addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
January 28, 1976 Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
November 5, 1975 President Anwar El Sadat of Egypt addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 17, 1975President Walter Scheel of West Germany addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
June 15, 1972  President Luis Echeverria Alvarez of Mexico addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 3, 1970 President Rafael Caldera of Venezuela addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
February 25, 1970President Georges Pompidou of France addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
October 27, 1967 President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz of Mexico addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
September 15, 1966 President Ferdinand E. Marcos of the Philippines addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
May 28, 1964 President Eamon de Valera of Ireland addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
January 15, 1964 President Antonio Segni of Italy addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 12, 1962 Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, Shahanshah of Iran, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
April 4, 1962 President Joao Goulart of Brazil addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 21, 1961 President Manuel Prado of Peru addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
July 12, 1961 President Mohammad Ayub Khan of Pakistan addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress
May 4, 1961 President Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
June 29, 1960Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
April 28, 1960Mahendra, King of Nepal addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
April 25, 1960 President Charles de Gaulle of France addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
April 6, 1960 President Alberto Lleras-Camargo of Columbia addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
May 12, 1959Baudouin, King of the Belgians, addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 18, 1959 President Sean T. O’Kelly of Ireland addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
March 11, 1959 President Jose Maria Lemus of El Salvador addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
January 21, 1959President Arturo Frondizi of Argentina addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 18, 1958 President Carlos F. Garcia of the Philippines addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
June 5, 1958 President Theodor Heuss of West Germany addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 9, 1957 President Ngo Dinh Diem of Vietnam addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress
May 17, 1956President Sukarno of Indonesia addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
February 29, 1956 President Giovanni Gronchi of Italy addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
January 27, 1955 President Paul E. Magliore of Haiti addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
July 28, 1954 President Syngman Rhee of South Korea addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 28, 1954 Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress. 
May 4, 1954 Governor General Vincent Massey of Canada addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
January 29, 1954 President Celal Bayar of Turkey addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 3, 1952  Queen Juliana of the Netherlands addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
January 17, 1952 Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
September 24, 1951 Prime Minister Alcide de Gasperi of Italy addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
June 21, 1951 President Galo Plaza of Ecuador addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress
April 2, 1951 President Vincent Auriol of France addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 19, 1949 President Gaspar Dutra of Brazil addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
April 19, 1948Ambassador Guillermo Belt of Cuba addressed a Joint Session of Congress held to memorialize the 50th anniversary of Cuban independence. 
May 1, 1947 President Miguel Aleman of Mexico addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
November 13, 1945 Prime Minister Clement R. Attlee of the United Kingdom addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 19, 1943Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
December 26, 1941Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.
May 20, 1934 Ambassador Andre’ de Laboulaye of France addressed a Joint Session of Congress held to memorialize the centennial anniversary of the death of Lafayette.
December 18, 1874 A Joint Meeting of Congress is held to receive King Kalakaua of Hawaii.

Footnotes

1Joint Meetings and Joint Sessions recorded in Congressional Directory and Congressional Record.