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THE STATE OF THE UNION : White House Muffles the Ruffles

January 28, 1987|United Press International

WASHINGTON — In order to muffle the cacophony of hundreds of pieces of paper being turned at once, the White House on Tuesday made available advance copies of President Reagan's State of the Union address in bound notebooks.

Advance texts are always given to members of Congress and reporters so lawmakers can follow along at their leisure and applaud at the appropriate time and reporters on deadline can get a head start in writing their stories.

But as 535 members of Congress and several hundred reporters in the gallery above follow the speech--about 10 8 1/2-by-14-inch pages stapled together--the deafening rustle of paper would signify the end of a page.

By binding the pages in a notebook--blue with a presidential seal for congressional members and guests and black for reporters--the noise could be held to a minimum and lawmakers would still know where to applaud.

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