Left to right Mary Dubay, Richard Dubay, Andrew Kil, Greg Price, and John Bradford


The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program

"A Constitutional Speech Contest"

Congratulations to Jack Smith, a senior at Detroit Catholic Central High School, The American Legion Department of Michigan 2021 Oratorical Champion.

l-r Department Commander Wood, Jack Smith-2021 Winner, Ella Enquist, Sophia Hugh, Paul Prokhorov, Education Chairman John Bradford

The American Legion Oratorical contests can be financially as well as educationally rewarding. High School students who are U. S. citizens or lawful residents can hone their speaking skills while learning about the U.S. Constitution.

Department-level scholarship awards range from $1,000 to $2,000, with Zone Winner receiving $500 and runner-ups receiving $200. At the National level, they range from $20,000 to $25,000.

A contestant must register with their American Legion, Department of Michigan by November 18, 2022.  The Zone Chairman will notify you of the dates, times, and locations of all contests at the District and Zone level.

District Contest to be completed by January 22, 2023

Zone Contest to be completed by February 8, 2023

The State Contest will be held on March 4, 2023, and the location to be determined



There will be opportunities to take photographs at the awards ceremony, but not during the actual contest. If space permits, an unattended, tripod-mounted video camera may tape the entire contest, but not a single contestant.  The American Legion, Department of Michigan reserves the right to preclude any videotaping if it prevents the audience present from fully enjoying the contest.

Assigned Topics for 2023 Oratorical Contest

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Amendment XIV, Section 1

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Amendment XVI

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Questions:  Contact American Legion, Department of Michigan headquarters at (517) 220-2754 or email at legion@michiganlegion.org.

What does a winning speech look like?

Aaron Seibelink, the 2018 Department of Michigan Oratorical Contest winner gave his speech "1984=2018" at the Departments Annual Convention.

2022 Oratorical Tri-fold