The American Legion Department of North Carolina will hold its annual Oratorical High School Speech Contest finals on March 7 at the LeGrand Center in Shelby, NC. The contest, open to any high school student, will feature the top four contest winners from across North Carolina.
Typically, students compete in local, District, and Area contests. The four area winners will be invited to Shelby to compete. Competing students must speak about some phase of the Constitution of the United States, emphasizing the duties and obligations of a citizen to the United States government. The prepared oration must be the original effort of each contestant and must be 8-10 minutes in length.
Qualified judges, tabulators, timekeepers, and other volunteers were selected from across North Carolina. Department Commander, James Moore of Goldsboro stated, “we are pleased and excited that the LeGrand Center will serve as the venue for the event. The LeGrand Center is a perfect facility. It will allow us to socially distance if needed, as well as serve as a great facility for the contest. Many have been to Shelby for the American Legion World Series, but this contest allows us to demonstrate additional events The American
Legion hosts annually.”
The NC winner would normally advance to the National Contest in Indianapolis; however, because of the Covid pandemic, American Legion National leadership decided it would be best to cancel the national competition and provide each state winner with additional funds.
North Carolina Legionnaires annually award $7,500 in scholarships. The national office is awarding an additional $5,000 to every State winner. The top student participating in the contest will receive a total of $7,500 in scholarship monies. Second place will earn a $2,000 scholarship, and 3rd and 4th place winners will receive $1,000 scholarships.