Friday, March 23, 2007

Tag Clouds and Presidential Speeches

A fascinating website has applied tag clouds to presidential state of the unions speeches dating back to the Administration of John Adams. By moving the scrolling tool from left to right (or vice versa) one can see how the issues that faced the country have changed over time. In the mid-nineteenth century, for instance, slavery was a major topic, while one hundred years later communism was much discussed. Most recently, words such as terrorism and freedom are frequently mentioned in state of the union speeches.