Since 1938, the contest has developed knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among High School students. Competition begins in January at the Post level. Winners progress to the District, Area and State levels. The winner at the state level will then compete at the National level in Indianapolis, IN. Our Post, Cecil Cox Post 147, in Clovis is very active in supporting this program. This past year, the winner of our Post competition was from Clovis North High School. She went on win the District, Area and State Competitions and went on to compete in the National competition making it into the semi-rounds. At each level of competition winners are awarded Prize money. At the Post level we award $500 for First, $300 for Second and $200 for Third places. This year, our Post Oratorical competition will be held on January 8, 2023. For additional information on competing please contact us using the contact information below.
The American Legion Oratorical Contest exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among High School students. 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 Alan Keyes, Lou Dobbs and Mike Pence.
Eligible participants must be citizens of or lawful permanent residents of the United States. All contestants must be bona fide students herein described as any student under the age of 20 years on the date of the national contest who is presently enrolled in a high school or junior high school (public, parochial, military, private or home school). The curriculum of the school must be considered to be of high school level, commencing with grade 9 and terminating with grade 12. Students must be enrolled in high school or junior high school during the time of participation at any level of The American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest. Contestants must either be legally domiciled within or attend an educational institution within the department that they enter competition. Contestants can enter competition through only one department.
High school students that graduate early during the school year are eligible to compete if they are not enrolled in a college, university, trade school or other institution of higher learning at the time of the department finals contest.
The three finalists of the national contest are ineligible for further participation at any level.
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.
For High School level students in the Clovis Unified School District please contact the American Legion Cecil Cox Post 147 in downtown Clovis. Our Post Oratorical Coordinator is Paul Kaser at (559) 905-8035 or you can contact us at email@example.com. If your local American Legion Post does not participate in the Oratorical Contest please contact and we will assist in directing you to a post that does.
For more details and information please visit our National Website - https://www.legion.org/oratorical/about