Contact your local American Legion Post in the phone book or at www.legion.org/posts


The Oratorical Scholarship Program in Texas will begin in October 2017 when high school students will enter competition to qualify for the National Oratorical Program, with an ultimate award of $160,000 in scholarships.  Posts and schools may hold local contests during the fall of 2017 if they so desire.  Whenever possible, it is recommended that the Oratorical Program be presented before the student body of a high school.  It is strongly recommended that the National Rules be strictly followed in all contests.


  1. Each public high school, private school, charter school, and home schooled, with grades 9 thru 12 that is sponsored by their local American Legion Post, is allowed to advance 1 contestant to the district level. Local contests must begin after October 28, 2017, and must be completed by December 22, 2017. Contests should be conducted using National rules.  Winners are to be certified by the local American Legion Oratorical Chair or Post Commander, who will then notify the District Oratorical Chair, and Department of the local winner. 
  2. District Contests shall be held on or after December 23, 2017, but not later than January 19, 2018 at such place as may be directed by the District Chair, and the winner certified to the Division Oratorical Chair by the District Oratorical chair or District Commander. Contests should be conducted using National rules.
  3. Division Contests shall be held on or after January 20, 2018, but not later than February 11, 2018, at such place as may be directed by the Division Chair, and the winner certified by each Division Oratorical Chair or Division Commander to Department Headquarters, P.O. Box 140527, Austin TX 78714. Should the winner decline to participate in the Department Finals for any reason, the first runner-up should then be certified as the participant by the Division Chairman. Contests should be conducted using National rules.
  4. The American Legion, Department of Texas, Oratorical Program Finals, will be held Monday, February 19, 2018 (February 26 ALTERNATE) at The Bryan American Legion Post 159, 101 Waco St. Bryan TX. Contest WILL be conducted using National rules.


  1. The Oratorical Chairman in charge of each Contest shall have full control and supervision of each Contest and his/her decisions shall be final. The Department Oratorical Chair will direct the Department Contest.  Official judging cards, tabulation forms, and timekeeper forms can be found in the Post Oratorical Chairman’s Guide. Extra forms can be furnished upon request.


  1. The American Legion Post may present a scholarship or such awards to the winner of the High School Contest as it chooses so long as such awards has NO cash value. The scholarship must be paid to the college or university of the student’s choice in the student’s name to be credited in the student’ name once proof of enrollment has been received.  A deadline for the payment should be established by the awarding organization.
  2. The American Legion, Department of Texas, will award: Each Division winner will receive a certificate for participation in the Department Finals and a medal for their standing in the contest.
  3. 3. The Department will award a $2,000 scholarship to the college of his/her choice; 2nd place – $1,500 scholarship; 3rd place $1,000 scholarship; and 4th place $500 scholarship (provided the winner enters college within 1 year after graduation from high school).
  4. The Department Champion will receive an additional $1,500 scholarship from National provided he/she participates in the Quarter Finals Contest and an additional $1,500 scholarship from National if the participant advances to the Semi Finals Contest and does not advance to the National Finals. Competitors in the National Finals are awarded scholarships as follows; 1st – $18,000; 2nd – $16,000; 3rd – $14,000.


  1. The Department assumes no liability for the expenses of any individual contestant in connection with any High School, District or Division Contest.
  2. Expenses for two meals ($6.00 per meal), hotel expenses, plus .25¢ per mile round trip for contestant and one adult in car for Division winners will be paid by the Department traveling to the State Contest.  (No air travel is authorized.)  Such expenses will be paid to the adult chaperon or to the Post.  No monies are to be paid directly to the contestant to protect his/her future eligibility to participate in the University Interscholastic League.  Contestant’s actual expenses will not be reimbursed.
  3. The winner of the Department Contest will represent the State of Texas in the National Contests and expenses for such contestant will be provided in accordance with the National Rules.


  1. All Division Winners MUST submit one copy of their prepared oration to the Department Chair or their designated representative before competing in the State Final Contest. (This copy is to be forwarded by the Department Chairman to Department Headquarters for record purposes along with the Chairman’s written report.)

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.