“A Constitutional Speech Contest”
The American Legion Oratorical Contest exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. Since 1938, the program has presented participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation’s laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship. The program has featured numerous politicians and prominent contestants over the years, including former president candidate Alan Keyes and CNN anchor Lou Dobbs.
Young orators earn some of the most generous college scholarships available to high school students. Over $138,000 in scholarships can be awarded each year. The overall national contest winner gets an $18,000 scholarship, second place takes home $16,000, and third gets $14,000. Each department (state) winner who is certified into and participates in the national contest’s first round receives a $1,500 scholarship. Those who advance past the first round receive an additional $1,500 scholarship. The American Legion’s National Organization awards the scholarships, which can be used at any college or university in the United States.
High school students under age 20 are eligible. Competition begins at the post level and advances to a state competition. Legion department representatives certify one winner per state to the national contest, where department winners compete against each other in two speaking rounds. The contest caps off with a final round that decides the three top finishers.
Speaking subjects must be on some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, with some emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. Speeches are eight to 10 minutes long; three- to five-min
The Prepared Oration
The oration must be on some aspect of the Constitution, with emphasis on a citizen’s duties and obligations to our government. The same subject and oration used in the department contest must be used in the national contest.
Contestants may have a copy of their prepared oration while waiting in the first holding room. They may consult the copy until they exit to begin the contest. The copy will then be surrendered to the contest official monitoring the first holding room.
Quotations must always be indicated as such. Where quotations are more than 10 words in length, the author’s name must be given in the manuscript and cited orally.
It is acceptable to utilize or incorporate short phrases in a foreign language to develop the argument, establish a point, etc. It should be understood that the vast majority of the prepared oration and/or assigned topic must still be delivered in English. Singing is not permitted and will result in immediate disqualification. The contestant may, however, quote a verse(s) of a song(s) provided proper attribution is made.
The assigned topic discourse must not consume less than three (3) minutes or more than five (5) minutes for delivery. The purpose of the assigned topic discourse is to test the speaker's knowledge of the subject, the extent of his or her research, and the ability to discuss the topic as related to the basic principles of government under the Constitution.
The assigned topic shall be drawn by the contest official in full view of the audience immediately before the last speaker begins delivery of his or her prepared oration and will be made known to the audience and each contestant approximately five (5) minutes prior to the time of delivery. The topic will be on some phase of the U.S. Constitution, selected from Articles and Sections as listed under assigned topics for the current year's contest in this brochure.
All contestants at each contest level are required to speak in the English language on the same assigned topic.
Assigned Topics for 2018 Oratorical Contest
For God and Country
The American Legion
Department of France
BELGIUM -- CHINA01--DENMARK -– ENGLAND -- FRANCE – GERMANY—GREECE-- IRELAND -- ITALY -- NETHERLANDS -- PORTUGAL –SPAIN –
2019 Department of France Oratorical Contest
Department Officers, 15 December 2018
1. The Department Oratorical Finals will be, conducted on the 23rd, of February 2019. The location of the Department Oratorical will be Panzer Kaserne at the New High School (Böblingen by Stuttgart) . The event will begin at 1300 hours, and the Oratorical contestants must be present NLT (Not Later Then) 1200 hours all times are in CET (Central European Time)
2. Those Post that have contestants participating in the Department Oratorical Finals, please provide me with their Names, affiliated schools, and Post. Please provide this information to me NLT25 January 2019. If your Post Oratorical Contest is conducted after 25 January 2019 please let me know and we will extend the required provide date.
James M. Settle
NECMan Department of France
Posted 10 December 2017
Yesterday's American Legion Oratorical Contest was a complete success. We had 6 contestants from 3 American High Schools compete. I want to thank Legionaries John DuBose, Thomas Morgan Buckner, Laura Grant Buckner and Paul S. Haney, and Ron Macualy, Post NL01 and Auxiliary Member Morgan Buckner for their outstanding help in conducting the best Oratorical Contest that Post BE02 has yet hosted. I also want to thank the judges, Helen Ayer Patton; Department of France Vice Commander Jimmie Dale and Marie-Lise Baneton for their sound judgement in selecting the winners. All contestants performed equally well and the contest was very close.
Assigned Topics for 2018 Oratorical Contest
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Article 2 Section 4
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Posted 1 October 2017
Fifth Third Bank donates $10k to Oratorical Contest
“We believe that being a responsible corporate citizen is important to giving back to the communities in which we live and do business," said Steven Alonso, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank in Greater Indiana Gateway Region. "With contributions both financially and through volunteerism, we at Fifth Third Bank have made a commitment to projects in our communities that support veterans’ initiatives. Sponsoring (the Oratorical Contest) is a part of that commitment.”
The National Oratorical Contest will get underway April 22 with 53 high school orators speaking on the U.S. Constitution in the quarterfinal round, followed by the top nine contestants advancing to the semifinals. During both sessions the contestants will present a rehearsed eight- to 10-minute oration on an aspect of the Constitution in front of judges, as well as a three- to five-minute speech on an assigned topic discourse. The top three semifinal contestants will compete in the national finals on April 23 at 10 a.m. (EDT).
Watch the finals streamed live on the Legion's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/americanlegionhq.
Posted 11 April 2017
The Dept of France Oratorical Contest winner from David Chavez Post 1982 gave her speech at the Annual Post Meeting on 10 April 2017. Best of luck Alyssa at the 2017 National Competition! We're all rooting for you.
The 2017 DEPARTMENT OF FRANCE
ORATORICAL CONTEST IS COMPLETE
The 2017 Department of France Oratorical Contest is history
Congratulations go out to Alyssa Saunders, from Ansbach High School and sponsored by David Chavez Post GR1982. The winner of the 2017 American Legion, Department of France Oratorical Contest.
Placing second was Amanda Macauley, sponsored by Flanders Field Post BE02.
Placing third was Kylar, Cade from Lakenheath American High School and sponsored by The Pride of Erin Post IR01
The American Legion, Department of France Leadership would like to give a big shout out to all of the participants from the Post level up to the Department finals. You should all be proud of the job you did.
A big THANK YOU goes out to Stuttgart Post #6 for once again stepping up and hosting this great event.
Now it is time to start working on the planning for the 2018 Oratorical Contest.