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Oratorical

Francis Scott Key Post 11

Do you know a high school student who is interested in Government and the Constitution? Scholarships are available at the Post, County, District, State, and National levels though the American Legion Oratorical Contest. 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 gets a $20,000 scholarship. Second place takes home $17,000, and third gets $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 (all grades) under age 20 are eligible.


The American Legion's National High School Oratorical Contest, “A constitutional speech contest,” was started to develop a better understanding and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States on the part of high school students. Other objectives of the contest include the development of leadership qualities, the ability to think and speak clearly and intelligently, and the preparation for acceptance of the duties and responsibilities, the rights and privileges of American citizenship. The contestants are expected to deliver a prepared oration, in addition to delivering a free-form oration on an assigned topic. Contestants compete first at the local level at their closest American Legion Post. The winners of the local contests advance to the County, District, and then the Department (state) levels. The winner of the Department contest advances to the National American Legion Oratorical Contest in Indianapolis, Indiana.


The American Legion, Department of Maryland, has a long and proud history with the American Legion Oratorical Contest, having produced six winners since the contest's beginnings in 1938. Five of these winners have occurred just in the past 20 years. Post 11 has annually participated in the program.


The Francis Scott Key Post 11, Frederick Maryland holds its contest in January. Prizes are: $500 1st Place, $300 2nd Place and $100 3rd. Winner will advance to County competition in February. District and State Competitions will follow.

The road to the National Contest looks like this:


  • Post Contests: January
  • County Contests: Early February
  • District Contests: Late February
  • State Finals: March
  • National Contest: April

For details about the Oratorical Program or to volunteer for the Committee, contact our Committee Chairman from our Committee Contacts page.

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