The Norman Transcript

November 25, 2012

High school orators wanted by Legion for speech competition

Transcript Staff
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — High school students in Cleveland and McClain Counties are invited to compete in “A Constitutional Speech Contest” to be held in local areas in January.

Students will vie for more than $40,000 in college scholarships given at the state and national levels.

Blanchard, Dibble, Lexington, Little Axe, Moore, Newcastle, Noble, Norman, Purcell, Wayne and Washington high school students, grades nine to 12, are all eligible for the contest which will begin at the local American Legion Post level and continue through District, State and National levels. These schools are part of Oklahoma American Legion District 5B.

“This District also includes Garvin and Murray Counties whose students also will compete at the 5B District level. District 5 is in Central Oklahoma. The 5B District winner and runner-up will compete with District 5A winners at a District 5 consolidated contest on Jan. 26, 2013. District winners will then compete in the East-West Division contests on Feb. 9, 2013, which will determine the four finalists for the state contest to be held at Duncan on Feb. 23, 2013.” said James O. Hood, District 5B commander.

The state winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship and expenses to attend and compete in the first round at the National Finals tentatively set for April 19-21, 2013, in Indianapolis, Ind.

Where possible, the initial post level contests for the students will be arranged with the cooperation of local school officials and faculty who will assist with the contest arrangements as well as help students with their preparations. The official rules can be obtained either through a student’s school or from their local American Legion Post.

Each student’s participation includes a prepared written oration and a second speech on an assigned topic. The subject in the prepared oration portion of the contest must be about some phase of the Constitution of the United States government. The prepared oration must be the original effort of each contestant and must be 8-10 minutes in length.

The assigned topics will be given in speech format from 3 to 5 minutes. One topic will be chosen for the student to deliver from four different specific U.S. Constitution parts. The national assigned topics this year are: Article II, section 1, paragraph 5 (Qualifications to be president); Amendment 22 (Presidential term limits); Amendment 2 (The militias and right to bear arms); and Amendment 24 (Abolition of the poll tax). Students must be prepared for all.

In addition to the awards by winners of the various elimination rounds of competition, college scholarships of $18,000, $16,000 and $14,000 will be awarded to the first through third places in the national finals. Each state winner who competes in the first round of the national contest will receive a $1,500 scholarship. Participants in the second round who do not advance to the national final round, will receive an additional $1,500 scholarship.

Students also obtain the rules and information by emailing contact information to or the Oklahoma Department of the American Legion at The toll free number at state headquarters for information is 1-800-281-7557 or 525-3511. Fax information or requests to 521-0178.

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