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. High school students under age 20 are eligible. Competition begins at the post level and advances to a state 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 aspect of the U.S. Constitution, with some emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. Speeches are eight to ten minutes long; three-to five-minute speeches on an assigned topic also are part of the contest.
(Application & Certification Forms Included)
Applications must be submitted to Department Headquarters by 03 January 2020
*Certifications must be submitted to Department Headquarters by 22 February 2020
Contest will be held on Saturday, 29 February 2020 @ 10:00 AM, at the
Bank of American Building, 200 West Capital (Capital and Center Street), Little Rock, Arkansas
Contestants and spectators need to be in-place by 10 a.m.
Volunteers need to arrive at 9 a.m.
Street parking is available
The Little Rock 5k and 10k will be run Saturday February 29th, from approximately 0730-1000.
For all volunteers and participants please access Bank of America Building for the Department Oratorical contest on
200 Center Street by exiting off of I-630 onto main Center Street exit.
2020 Contest Awards
1st Place - Jack Minnick, Fort Smith Southside High School
2nd Place - Anh Cao, Bentonville High School
3rd Place - Trinity Foster,Crossett High School
Contest Winning Contestants Photo
*Certification for the Department (State) contest means that a student must present
his/her oration to the Post and/or a civic organization three (3) times as organized by the
Post Oratorical Chairman.
Posts can certify all students who apply and follow the above rule or Posts can sponsor a contest
to determine whom they will certify for the Department (State) contest
Students certified by a Post will proceed to the Department (State) Contest
The Department of Arkansas First Place Winner - $2,000.00
plus an all expense paid trip, with chaperone, to Indianapolis, IN. to compete in the
National American Legion Oratorical Contest for a chance to earn
$20,000.00 as a 1st Place, -- $17,000.00 as a 2nd Place finish -- $15,000.00 as a 3rd Place finish.
The Department First Place Winner who participates in the first round of the National Contest
will receive a $1,500.00 scholarship. Each first round winner who advances to the second round,
but does not advance to the Final Round will receive an additional $1,500.00 scholarship.
Department of Arkansas Second Place Winner - $1,500.00
Department of Arkansas Third Place Winner - $1,000.00