May: American Legion kicks off National Oratorical Contest for high school students

Posted by: Wade Coggeshall  | Friday, August 30, 2019

STATEHOUSE (Aug. 30, 2019) – State Rep. Chris May (R-Bedford) encourages local high school students to sign up for the American Legion’s annual National Oratorical Contest that awards college scholarships.

Each year, student competitors from around the country prepare speeches on an aspect of the U.S. Constitution. The goal is to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the document, as well as foster leadership qualities and public speaking skills.

“Too often we take for granted the inalienable freedoms we have as U.S. citizens provided by the Constitution,” May said. “This contest is a tremendous opportunity for high school students to learn and interpret the foundation for what makes this the greatest country in the world, while also developing valuable skills with a chance to earn money for college.”

For the competition, contestants deliver a prepared 8- to 10-minute speech on an aspect of the Constitution before a panel of judges, plus a shorter speech on an assigned topic derived from the Constitution’s articles and sections.

Local contests are organized by individual American Legion posts, including Post 13 in Nashville and Post 33 in Bedford. For more information on their oratorical contests, call Post 13 at 812-988-5600 and Post 33 at 812-275-4273.

The national finals will be held in April of 2020 in Indianapolis. The champion will receive an $18,000 scholarship, with second place receiving $16,000 and third place $14,000. State winners who participate in the first round of the national contest will receive a $1,500 scholarship. Those who advance to the second round but not the championship will get an additional $1,500.

Rules and information on the national finals can be found at or by emailing or calling 317-630-1204.


State Rep. Chris May (R-Bedford) represents House District 65, which includes all of 
Brown County, most of Lawrence County and parts of Monroe, Jackson and Johnson counties. 
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