Oratorical Contest 2023- 2024
Stafford American Legion Post 290
1141 Mountain View Road
9:30 am arrival
10:00 am competition begins
The Post contest is open to all high school students age 19 and under
Cash prize at the post level
To compete, please register with firstname.lastname@example.org before Dec. 3, 2023
Contestants will be accepted at the door.
American Legion National scholarship contest winner
For more information and Videos visit the American Legion National website https://www.legion.org/oratorical
Competition begins at the Post level and advances to the District level then regional level, then the state competition. Legion Department representatives certify one winner per state. Each department (state) winner who is certified into and participates in the national contest’s first round receives a $2,000 scholarship. 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. The American Legion’s National Organization awards scholarships can be used at any College or University in the United States.
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 presidential candidate Alan Keyes, national television commentator and talk radio host Lou Dobbs, and Vice-President of the United States Mike Pence.
There are two distinct speeches in this contest: the Prepared Oration and the Assigned Topics.
The Prepared Oration
This is a prepared speech that must be no less than 8 minutes and no more than 10 Minutes long.
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 3 minutes or more than 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 is 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 on the national web site. www.legion.org
All contestants at each contest level are required to speak in the English language on the same assigned topic.
The Assigned Topics for 2024 Oratorical Contest
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, not be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Amendment XXV, Section 3
Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:
A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the State, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.
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.