Legion pg 5 11-12-20


Oratorical Contest
American Legion District #4 Commander Ronald P. Coderre spoke to students at Putnam High School about the annual Legion Oratorical Contest.  Students are pictured with Coderre, front left, and teacher John Allen, back right. Courtesy photo.


Preparations are currently underway by The American Legion Department of Connecticut for its annual Oratorical Contest, according to District #4 Commander Ronald P. Coderre.  The American Legion Oratorical Contest, a high school ‘Constitutional Speech Contest’ that exists to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U. S. Constitution, is conducted annually throughout Connecticut and the nation.
The program, which is open to high school students under 20, has been in existence since 1938.  Local contests overseen by local Legion Posts are conducted in the month of January.  The winners of the local contests move on to the District level competition in February. The District #4 contest will be held at The Woodstock Academy.  The winners of the seven Connecticut Districts then convene in March for the right to represent Connecticut in the National competition in April.
American Legion Posts in District #4 are Post #13 Putnam; Post #14 Rockville; Post #19 Willimantic; Post #21 Danielson; Post #26 Stafford Springs; Post #52 Coventry-Mansfield; Post #62 Ellington; Post #67 North Grosvenordale; Post #91 Moosup; Post #95 Hebron; Post #101 Somers; Post #111 Woodstock; and Post #203 Eastford.  High school students under the age of 20 who are interested in more information should contact Posts in their geographic area or contact District #4 Commander Ronald P. Coderre at 860.942.7243 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The goal of the contest is to encourage the development of public speaking, leadership, and an understanding of our nation’s laws as they pertain to our Constitution.  Each contestant is asked to make an eight to 10-minute prepared oration on a predetermined aspect of the Constitution.  The second part of the contest involves a randomly assigned constitutional topic that they are expected to speak on for between three and five minutes.   
Last year’s District contest was won by Lucas Johnson, a sophomore at H.H. Ellis Technical School.  His topic was “The Dangers of Constitutional Ignorance.”  Johnson was sponsored by the L’Homme-Burdick Post #21 of Danielson.  Johnson was the runner-up in the 2020 Department of Connecticut contest, which featured winners from the seven districts of the state.


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