The Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest is open to all students attending 9th through 12th grades in public, parochial or private schools; or home-school students studying at the same grade levels. The preliminary rounds of the contest begin at the local chapter level; students have the opportunity to advance to the state or national levels where scholarships and cash prizes are awarded. It is our intent that the contest will continue to expand on all levels and bring the voices of our young patriots to greater light across our entire nation.
Three cash/scholarship awards are given: the National First Place Winner receives $6,000; the 2nd Place Runner-up receives $4,000; and the 3rd Place Runner-up receives $2,000 cash prize. Each also receives an Olympic-sized medal. All other finalists (4th through 6th Place runners-up) are awarded $500 cash and all other national contestants are awarded $200 cash. An informational flyer and the contest forms can be found below. Please be aware that the local and state application deadline dates may vary, so interested applicants should reach out to their local SAR chapter for further details.
Participants must write an original oration of not less than five minutes, or more than six minutes. The oration must be delivered from memory and without the use of notes or any kind of props. The subject of the oration shall deal with an event, a personality, or a document pertaining to the Revolutionary War with an emphasis on our nation’s 250th anniversary celebration. It is essential that each oration show the relationship it bears to America today. Evidence of historical research and creative presentation are also important. The oration will be judged based upon its composition, delivery, significance, historical accuracy and relevance to our 250th anniversary.