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318 Donelson Pike, Nashville, TN

The American Legion Department of Tennessee


​​Department of Tennessee


Michael F. Hannan- Chairman - 315-573-0703,
Dean A. Tuttle, Adjutant- 615-391-5088,

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 13-15, 2018 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 9, 2018.



District Contests are from January 13, 2018 to January 27, 2018

District Date and Time Location Points of Contact
1 20 January 2018  1 pm

   American Legion Post 24       409 East Market Street Johnson City 

         Jonathan Coward ​    423-915-6867
2 21 January 2018  2 pm       American Legion Post 53         624 Morgan Ave Harriman                  William Cole                           865-209-0076        
3 20 January 2018 9 am East Ridge City Court House      1517 Tombras Ave​​, East Ridge                    Bill Norton                             423-593-6281
4 13 January 2018  9 am         First Baptist Church 708 E Main St, Livingston               Norman Osburn                               931-403-3380
5 20 January 2018   10 am Coffee County High School       100 Red Raider Drive Manchester                 Rick Jernigan                             931-247-9995
6 20 January 2018   10 am    Operation Stand Down        1125 12th Ave S, Nashville                     Rick Baur                                            615 926-6522     ​
7 19 January 2018    2 pm    American Legion Post 19          812 Nashville Hwy, Columbia             Charles Sanders                                          931-388-2482    
8 20 January 2018   9 am     Scotts Hill High School           7871 Highway 100, Regan               Danny Frizzell                                 731-614-3134
9 20 January 2018   1 pm UT Martin, Bowling Center Room 111, Martin              Michael Wright                        731-431-7736
10 27 January 2018   9 am Kirby High School  4080 Kirby 
Parkway, Memphis
Nancy Harper


Divisional Contests are February 10, 2018 to February 24, 2018


Division Date/Time Location Points of Contact

10 February 2018  10:00 am

University of Tennessee ROTC Bldg, 1400 White Ave   Knoxville 

        Marty Everett    865-399-7715


17 February 2018 9:00 am

Bradley Academy & Culture Center  415 S. Academy St Murfreesboro

        Charles Griffith      615-496-0030   


15 February 2018  2:45 pm

Humboldt Medical Center 3525 Chere Carol Road   Humboldt

              Thomas Raines                                       731-222-0058            



Saturday,  March 3, 2018 @ 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 2018 Oratorical Contest

.Amendment 2

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment 3

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment 15

Section 1.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

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

Article 2 Section 4

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

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



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