American Legion

Canandaigua Post 256

454 North Main Street

Canandaigua, NY 14424




The purpose of the American Legion's National High School Oratorical Contest is to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States on the part of high school students. Other objectives of the contest include the development of leadership qualities, the ability to think and speak clearly and intelligently.

Amount of Award:

Participation is first at the County level and winners advance through District and State competition and receive cash awards. The winners of the National contest will receive scholarship awards in the amount of $18,000.00 for 1st place, $16,000.00 for 2nd place and $14,000.00 for 3rd place.


The contest is open to all high school students, both male and female that meet the following criteria:

  • Citizens of the United States, or lawful permanent residents of the United States.
  • Bona fide students under the age of twenty years old on the date of the National Contest, and presently enrolled in high school.
  • Enrolled in grades 9 through 12.

The contest consists of the following:
     1.  A Prepared Oration (can be prepared at home) subject must be on some phase of the Constitution of the United States which will give emphasis to the attendant duties and obligations of a citizen to our government. Discourse must be a minimum of eight (8) minutes in length and a maximum of ten (10) minutes.
     2.  An assigned topic discourse will be drawn by the contest officials in full view of the audience. The topic will be on some phase of the Constitution of the United States, selected from Articles and Sections as listed under the Assigned Topics in the current years contest brochure. Subject discourse must not consume less than three (3) minutes or more than five (5) minutes for delivery.