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.

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 receives a $20,000 scholarship. Second place takes home $17,000, and third receives $15,000. Each department (state) winner who is certified into and participates in the National contest's first round receives a $2,000 scholarship. Those who advance past the first round receive an additional $2,000 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, and not graduated before the date of the contest. Competition begins at the Post level and advances to a District, then State level 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/any aspect of the U.S. Constitution, with emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. Speeches are to be 8 to 10 minutes long; followed by a three-to-five minute speech on an assigned topic chosen randomly the day of the contest.

New Castle District Competition (tentative)
Date: January 11, 2021
Time:  7:00 PM
Loocation: Ebenezer UMC, 525 Polly Drummond Hill Rd., Wilmington, DE  19711
Department (State) Competition:
Date: February 8, 2021
Time:  7:00 PM
Location: Ebenezer UMC, 525 Polly Drummond Hill Rd., Wilmington, DE  19711

Particiption Details for the 2021 American Legion Oratorical Scholarship Contest

2021 Oratorical Assigned Topics List

American Legion 2021 Oratorical Scholarship Contest
"A constitutional speech contest"
American Legion National Oratorical contestants (ltr) Zachary Smith of Smyrna, DE; Ryland Ploeger of Lake Stevens WA; Mackenzie Arnold of Wantage, NJ;Kayla Giordano of East Lyme, CT; Kate Park of Los Altos, CA; and Paul Popa of Saline, MI listen to Colorado Legionnaire and contest moderator Paul Talafuse go over the ground rules for the quarterfinal competition. At far left is Indiana Legionnaire Ida Jewell who is the tabulator and timer for this group of contestants. (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)
2021 Contest Application