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​​Department of Tennessee


Charles Osterhoudt - 315-868-2267 - coster7794@gmail.com
Dean A. Tuttle, Adjutant- 615-391-5088 - Adjutant@TNLegion.org

The American Legion's National High School Oratorical Scholarship Program - "A Constitutional Speech Contest" aims to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States on the part of high school students.

Scholarships totaling $6,000 will be awarded to students taking part in the state contest. The state winner will receive a $3,000 scholarship, plus an all expenses paid trip to Indianapolis, Indiana, to compete in the national contest, April 5 - 7, 2019 and a part of the $138,000 national scholarship pool.

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.

If you are a high school student who would like to participate, or a teacher or parent of a student who would like to participate, please use this website to gain a better understanding of the contest.

To apply for the contest, complete the application form below by clicking on the blue "
ORATORICAL APPLICATION/CERTIFICATION FORM" and return it to your local contest Post or District Chairman as instructed. Remember Application/School Certification of their contest representatives must arrive at The American Legion Department of Tennessee, 318 Donelson Pike, Nashville TN 37214 not later than January 7, 2019.



District Contests are from January 12, 2019 to January 26, 2019

District Date and Time Location Points of Contact
1 Jan 19, 2019 @ 10 am 

Post 24 409 E. Market Street, Johnson City

             JON COWARD                   423-915-6867       jonnlizcoward@icloud.com
2 Jan 12, 2019 @ 10 am

Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church 400 Everett Rd, Farragut

          HUGH TURPIN                   district2commander@gmail.com 865-272-5116

3 Jan 19, 2019 @ 9 am      East Ridge City Hall               1517 Tombras Ave       East Ridge  

             TOM BRUCE                        tmbruce@epbfi.com              (423) 315-6359 

4 Jan 12, 2019 @ 9 am  First Baptist Church 708 E. Main St., Livingston 

         NORMAN OSBURN                     pigroast@twlakes.net             931-403-3380

5 Jan 19, 2019 @ 10 am Coffee County Central High School, 100 Red Raiders Drive, Manchester                   PAUL GISH                          paul304@bellsouth.net              931-409-0047         
6 Jan 19, 2019 @ 10 am      Operation Stand-down        1125 12th Ave S. Nashville                   RICK BAUR                               rbaur60@gmail.com​             615-926-6522
7 Jan 12, 2019 @ 10:30 am

Mars Hill Baptist Church

630 Weakley Creek Road

 WILLIAM HOYT TIDWELL II          h_tidwell@hotmail.com      334-414-3403
8 Jan 19, 2019 @ 9 am

Scotts Hill High School

7871 Highway 100, Scotts Hill

            RONNIE BUTLER                             RandB70@tds.net                     731-614-5144

9 Jan 19, 2019 @ 1 pm      University of Martin      61 Mount Pelia Road, Legislative Chamber Rm #111, Martin

TERRY BONNER bonner25terry@yahoo.com   731-589-2028

10 Jan 26, 2019 @ 9 am Germantown Church of Christ, 8723 Poplar Pike, Germantown

          NANCY HARPER                  gnharper1@bellsouth.net      901-371-6046


Divisional Contests are February 9, 2019 to February 23, 2019


Division Date/Time Location Points of Contact

Feb 16, 2019 @ 10:00 am

 East Ridge Court House,  Main Court Room, East Ridge TN

 JERRY NORTON       jerrynorton@catt.com          (423) 421-3889   


Feb 9, 2019 @ 11:00 am

Lakewood Baptist Church 400 Donelson Pike Nashville TN 37214

               CARL FAIRBANKS                    615-513-7870     Carl.Fairbanks@yahoo.com


Feb 12, 2019 @ 3:30 pm

  Lexington Civic Center    145 S. Main St. Lexington

               DANNY FRIZZELL                          731-614-3134            danfrizz7@yahoo.com


Saturday,  March 9, 2019 @ 10 a.m.

 The American Legion Department of Tennessee 318 Donelson Pike   Nashville TN 37214 


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.

Assigned Topics for 2019 Oratorical Contest

Amendment 1

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment 4

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment 13

1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Amendment 21

1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

signed Topics for 2019 Oratorical Contest


News Release / PSA Templates

  • Oratorical Contest Suggested PSAs (PDF / WORD)
  • Oratorical Contest Suggested News Release (PDF / WORD)
  • Oratorical Contest Suggested News Release (Winner) (PDF / WORD)

Oratorical Contest Videos

Oratorical Judging, Scoring & Tabulation