The Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oratory Contest
Updated: 9/13/2018

About the Contest
"The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) invites all high school students
(9th through 12th grades) interested in the American Revolution to participate in the contest. The contest is open to all students attending home schools, public, parochial, or private high school students in that same grade range. While the preliminary rounds of the contest begin at the local level, students may eventually advance to the state or national levels, eventually held in June during the annual SAR Congress."

"Each student's five to six minute speech (and accompanying manuscript) will be judged based upon its composition, delivery, significance, and historical accuracy and relevance."

"The winner of the society or district contests may receive expenses toward his or her trip to compete in the national contest. The society or district may give a cash award and/or an Olympic-size medal. In entering this contest, the applicant and his or her oration coach understand that the oration must be an original composition, of not less than five minutes or more than six minutes in duration. The applicant and coach are aware that this oration, in the SAR chapter, state-level society, and national contest, must be given from memory and without the use of notes or any kind of props. The applicant and coach understand that in composing this oration the subject shall deal with an event, a personality, or a document pertaining to the Revolutionary War, showing the relationship it bears to America today. It is understood that the applicant can create the title of his or her oration." (From the National SAR website.)


Official Contest Rules
  1. The contest will be held in preliminary round(s) by state societies and/or chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution to select one winner from each participating state. In districts where no state society sponsors an entrant, a district entry is permitted. Each participating state society or district should provide information regarding the contest to senior high school, parochial, private and home-schooled speech and/or history teachers and principals or counselors as early as possible.
  2. The contest is open to all students of the sophomore, junior and senior classes in the public, parochial, private and home schools within the jurisdiction of the sponsoring state society or district.
  3. The oration must be original of not less than five minutes or more than six minutes. The subject shall deal with an event, personality, or document pertaining to the Revolutionary War and show a relationship to America today. The oration must be essentially the same as the submitted manuscript. Notes and props (including military uniforms) may not be used in the presentation.
  4. The state society or district establishes the date and deadlines for its contest allowing adequate time to submit its winner as an entrant in the national competition. Before the chapter winner competes in the state contest, a copy of the oration, a photograph and biographical sketch of the entrant, and the completed necessary forms will be sent by the Chapter Chairman to the State Chairman.
  5. At Congress the NSSAR will furnish awards and give recognition to all orators who participate in the national preliminary and final contests.
  6. Expenses involving lodging, meals, and transportation to, at, and from the NSSAR Congress may be borne by the sponsoring state society or district. Chaperon for the entrant may be provided by the state society or district.
  7. During the presentation of orations at chapter, state-district, or national contest, no applause is permitted until all orators have finished speaking.
  8. During the contest, no private videotaping or flash picture taking will be allowed.
  9. By action of the 1985 Congress, all judges in the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest must be members of the SAR. The judges will select the winners by the following criteria:
    1. Composition
    2. Delivery
    3. Significance
    4. History
    5. General Excellence
    6. Time allocated for delivery

  10. The contestants must agree that the interpretation of rules and the decisions of the NSSAR and its judges shall govern without reservation.
  11. The first place winner at the national level of the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest may not compete in its future competitions.
  12. The first place National winner is expected to attend the youth awards luncheon the day after the final competition.

Contest Forms/More Information
  1. Rumbaugh Application Form (pages 1, 13 and 14)
    Youth Awards Applicant Form.pdf

  2. Rumbaugh Sponsoring Form (pages 1, 8 and 8)
    Youth Awards Sponsoring Form.pdf

Rumbaugh Historical Oratory Contest Awards

Piedmont Chapter Winner 1st Place 2nd Place
Cash Prizes and Certificate $175 * $100
  • * Winner gains entry in State Society competition.
  • * Winner is invited with parents to the Piedmont Chapter Annual Banquet (following year).
  • * If 1st place Piedmont Chapter winner finishes 1st in the State SAR Society competition, the Piedmont Chapter will give an additional $100 to the winner.
  • 1st & 2nd place winners and all other applicants receive an SAR Certificate of Participation.
  • Judging on individual applicants, not per school.

Georgia State SAR Winners 1st Place 2nd Place
Cash Prizes and Certificate $500 * $200
  • * If 1st place Piedmont Chapter winner finishes 1st in the State SAR Society competition, the winner (with parents) receive an invitation to Chapter Annual Banquet the following year.
  • * 1st Place winner gains entry in the National SAR competition.
  • Source: http://gasocietysar.org/youth-programs/

National Winners 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Cash Prizes and Certificate $5,000 * $3,000 ** $2,000 **
  • * National winner receives an Olympic-sized medal.
  • 4th through 6th Place runners-up are awarded $400 and all other national contestants are awarded $200.
  • Source: https://www.sar.org/education/youth-contests-awards/joseph-s-rumbaugh-historical-oration-contest

Contest Deadline & Contact Information

Entries to the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oratory Contest must be submitted by March 1 to the Piedmont Chapter. Any additional questions or information can be obtained thru the contest chairmen at the Piedmont Chapter.

Piedmont Chapter Contest Chairman
Open Position

Questions regarding specific rules may be directed to
National Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest Chairman:
Mr. James M. Lindley | Email

 



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