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The Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest
History of the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Oration Contest
The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the NASSP National Advisory List of Contests and Activities for 2008-2009.
In 1945 an Ohio SAR member, Douglass G. High, originated this creative exercise in a Cincinnati Senior High. Two years later the NSSAR assumed National sponsorship. Douglass G. High passed away in 1952. In 1953 the National Society attached his name to the contest title as a memorial. He was the first Chairman on the NSSAR Oration Committee, serving in this capacity for five years.
In honor of a Florida SAR member, this Oratorical event was renamed the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Oration Contest. For many years this Compatriot has shown an active interest in the welfare of youth and has been a creative promoter of this contest. The contest is designed to explore the influence of the Revolutionary war on present day America.
Purpose of the National Contest
- To bring American History to the high school student and focus on events of today.
- To draw an intelligent relationship between the past and the present.
- To clearly demonstrate freedom of opportunity as a basic right of our national heritage.
- To place a positive emphasis on the plans of our founding fathers.
- To emphasize justice under law in the free society.
- To illustrate how the Revolutionary War influenced our freedom of expression.
Official Rules of the National Contest
- 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 couselors as early as possible.
- The contest is open to all students of the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes (Grades 9-12) in the public, parochial, private and home schools within the juridisctionof the sponsoring state society or district.
- The oration must be original of not less than five minutes or no 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.
- 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 contest. The deadline for the 2012-2013 contest is four weeks before the national contest. Form A & B must be received by the National Chairman by the deadline.
- 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 Form B should be mailed to the state chairman following the chapter contest. Form A (State) will be sent by the Chapter chairman to the State chairman.
- At Congress the NSSAR will furnish awards and give recognition to all orators who participate in the national preliminary and final contests.
- Expenses involving lodging, meals, and transportation to, at, and from the NSSAR Congress may be borne by the sponsoring state society or district.
- During the presentation of orations at chapter, state-district, or national contest, no applause is permitted until all orators have finished speaking.
- During the contest, no private videotaping or flash picture taking will be allowed.
- By action of the 1985 Congress, all judges in the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Orations Contest must be members of the SAR. Time allocated for delivery is between 5 and 6 minutes. (A penalty is applied for going outside the time allocations.) The judges will select the winners by the following criteria:
- The contestants must agree that the interpretation of rules and the decisions of the NSSAR and its judges shall govern without reservation. The judging sheets and notes are the property of the SAR.
- The first place winner at the national level of the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest may not compete in its future competitions.
- The first place National winner is expected to attend the youth awards luncheon the day after the final competition.
National Scholarship Awards
First Place............. $3000
Second Place......... $2000
Third Place............ $1000
The above winners will also receive an Olympic-sized medal.
All other finalists will receive $300
All other national contestants will receive $200
The oration must be submitted to the state level to be judged before advancing to the national level (whose rules and regulations are listed above). The deadline for the state contest is Sunday, March 24th, 2013. A copy of the oration, a photograph and biographical sketch of the entrant, and the completed Form B should be mailed to the state chairman by the deadline. Form A (State) will be sent by the Chapter chairman to the State chairman. The MDSSAR will also grant prizes for the state winners.
Questions regarding specific rules or registration may be directed to the Maryland State Chairman:
714 Chestnut Hill Rd
Forest Hill, MD 21050
orationsmarylandsar [dot] org
orationsmarylandsar [dot] org
For more information about the contest, please see the National SAR page here.