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The 2021 Oratorical Contest has been CANCELED

due to health and safety concerns.




Local High School Students,

The American Legion Sykesville Memorial Post 223 will hold its annual Oratorical Contest on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at the Post Home at 1:00 p.m. High school students under the age of 20 from Century High School, Liberty High School, private, parochial, military schools, and home-schooled students are eligible to participate. The American Legion Oratorical Contest has been sponsored since 1938 by The American Legion and is designed to instill in high school students a greater knowledge and sense of appreciation for the United States Constitution. Other objectives include the development of leadership, the ability to think and speak clearly, and preparation for acceptance of the duties, responsibilities, and privileges of American Citizenship. Locally, this is the 31st year that Post 223 will be conducting this contest. Participants give an eight to ten-minute prepared speech on some aspect of the Constitution. Additionally, each contestant will give a three to five-minute discourse on one of four assigned Amendments to the Constitution.

Each contestant shall deliver a prepared oration, which must be an original effort. The oration must address some aspect of the Constitution of the United States, which emphasizes the attendant duties and obligations of a citizen to our government. Possible subjects include:
 An American Citizens Rights and Responsibilities Under The Constitution
 Our Constitution - Worth Having, Worth Defending
 The Constitution in a Changing World
 The Constitution in Our Everyday Life
 The Bill of Rights - Reciprocal Rights and Duties
 The Constitution - Guardian of the People’s Rights

In addition to a Prepared Oration, contestants must be prepared to speak on a specific article or amendment to the Constitution. The National office chooses four each year and contestants will prepare a speech for all four. However, only one is chosen at random, during a contest and all contestants will speak on the same article or amendment. Contestants are sequestered during the contest so they do not know which choice was drawn until it is their turn to speak. See below for the list of selected assigned topics for the year.

 Amendment 12
o The Twelfth Amendment provides the procedure for electing the President and Vice President. It replaced the procedure provided in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3, by which the Electoral College originally functioned.

 Amendment 20
o The Twentieth Amendment covers the terms of President and Vice President, when Congress shall assemble and the Articles of Presidential succession.

 Amendment 24
o The Twenty-fourth Amendment prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax.

 Amendment 27
o No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

Post 223 will award cash prizes of $300, $200, and $150 to the contestants who finish in first through third places respectively. The Post 223 winner will be invited to compete at the county, district, and state levels. The state winner will continue on to the national contest in Indianapolis, April 17 - 19, 2020 to compete for scholarships of $20,000, $17,000, and $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. Please return submissions to Post 223 no later than January 17, 2020.

For more information and application forms see your school counselor, please call the Post 223 Oratorical Contest Chairman Zane Walker at (410) 404-5662, or email AmericanLegionPost223@gmail.com.

National Website: www.legion.org/oratorical
State Website: www.mdlegion-oratorical.org




Congrats to Post 223 2019 Winner:

Joe Rekus

Century High School Class of 2019






Point of Contact: Post 223 Oratorical Chairman, Zane Walker

410-404-5662 or toyzaney@yahoo.com





National and State Contest Info



The purpose of The American Legion’s National High School Oratorical Contest is to develop a deeper knowledge 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.






Since 1988, Sykesville Memorial Post No. 223 has been an active participant in The American Legion's National High School Oratorical Contest which exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. The program presents 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 from Century and Liberty High Schools, as well as home-schooled students, are eligible to participate in the contest held here at Sykesville Memorial Post No. 223. For students attending other schools, please contact The American Legion Post in your area or call The American Legion Department of Maryland Headquarters.

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 10 minutes long; three- to five-minute speeches on an assigned topic also are part of the contest.

To date, Sykesville Memorial Post No. 223 has awarded in excess of $4700 to the winners of their contests, three of whom have continued on to win at the County and District levels. Of those, two have finished third at the state level and one finished second at the state level to the student who would eventually win the National American Legion Oratorical Contest.

For more information, contact your school's guidance counselor or call Sykesville Memorial Post No. 223 at (410)-795-7242.