Programs & Contests

The Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest is open to all students attending public, parochial, or private high schools who are in their sophomore, junior or senior year of study during the contest year. 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 which originated in the famous, 1735 trial of the Colonial New York printer, John Peter Zenger.

This contest is approved by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

The subject of the oration shall deal with an event, a personality, or a document pertaining to the Revolutionary War with an emphasis on our nation’s 250th anniversary celebration. The oration will be judged based upon its composition, delivery, significance, historical accuracy and relevance to our 250th anniversary.

Where to begin: This contest begins at the chapter level and awards vary by chapter. The winner at the chapter level will advance to the state level. Then the winner at the state level will advance to the national level. Awards differ at the chapter, state and national level. To get started contact a chapter representative by clicking here.

Or for more information, contact Bruce Smith

The entry deadline for submission of orations to local chapters is December 31 each year.

Chapter winners present their oration for judging IN PERSON at our Board of Governors Meeting in February.

National Society Award:
1st Place – $8,000
2nd Place – $5,000
3rd Place – $3,000

Kansas Society Award:
1st Place – $750
2nd Place – $300
3rd Place – $150

SAR Rumbaugh Oration National Champion, Savannah GA, July 11, 2022. From Left to Right: KS Society Vice-President Bryan Wampler, President General Davis Wright, James Shultz, Amy Shultz, KS Society President Vern Welkner, Bruce Smith, Bobbie Hulse, Jack Bredenfoerder.

Orations Past State Winners:
2023 – Myles Day (pictured)
2022 – James Schultz (NATIONAL CHAMPION)
2021 – Myles Day
2020 – Macie Redick
2016 – Sam Day
2015 – Sam Day
2012 – Anna Gordman
2011 – Kelcie Marquardt
2010 – Kelcie Marquardt
2009 – Ashley Hrabe
2008 – Nandini Sarma
2007 – Mark Barber
1991 – Amanda Traxler
1990 – Amanda Traxler
1989 – Logan Hirsh
1988 – Kena M. Tague (NATIONAL CHAMPION)
1987 – Asish Chawla
1986 – Asish Chawla
1985 – David Filippi
1984 – David Whitaker (NATIONAL CHAMPION)
1983 – Kris Kobach
1982 – Douglas Hensley
1981 – Douglas Hensley
1980 – Kevin Smith