"Our freedom, our democracy has never been easy," the president said. "But for more than 200 years we have put those things aside and placed our collective shoulder to the wheel of progress ... to free other nations from tyranny and fear, to promote justice, fairness and equality under the law."
The president spoke of "the America we want for our kids, a rising America where honest work is plentiful and communities strong."
"None of it is easy, but if we work together, if we summon what is best in us ... I know it is within our reach. Believe it," he said.
During his more than hourlong address, the president focused on energy policy, immigration, unemployment insurance, education, a higher minimum wage and national security, among other topics.
"America must move off a permanent war footing," Obama said.
He added that he would reform surveillance programs, making sure "the privacy of ordinary people is not being violated."
Obama also pushed healthcare enrollment during his address: "Moms, get on your kids to sign up. Kids, call your mom and walk her through the application. ... Plus she'll appreciate hearing from you."
President Obama directed his speech at the American public in an effort to drive his agenda in the remainder of his second term. He made clear during his address that he was willing to use executive orders to work past partisan gridlock, which has become a hallmark of Washington politics.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) will deliver the Republican State of the Union response, and Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) will be giving their own rebuttals to Obama’s proposals.
For real-time updates on Obama’s address, see our live blog below -- the L.A. Times' political team’s analysis of the president's remarks, reactions to the speech and conversations taking place on social media.
For mobile readers, click here to keep track of our live blog.