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The Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest

The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the NASSP National Advisory List of Contests and Activities for 2014-2015.


NASSP Student Contests and Activities Page



The Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest is open to all students attending home schools, public, parochial, or private high schools who are in their freshman, sophomore, junior or senior (grades 9 through 12) year of study.

History of The Joseph S. Rumbaugh Oration Contest

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 support historical research in our high schools by promoting oratorical presentations related to our Revolutionary War period 1750-1800.
  • To emphasize American History to the high school student and focus on and intelligent relationship between the past and the present.
  • To place a positive emphasis on the plans of our founding fathers.

The preliminary rounds of the contest are held by Chapters and/or State Societies of the Sons of the American Revolution to select one winner from each participating state.  In regions (SAR Districts) where no State Society sponsors an entrant, an SAR District entry is permitted.  Prizes may be awarded to winners of Chapter and State Society (or District) competitions.  The State or District sponsor is responsible for informing the contestant how expenses of competing at the National Level will be made.  For example, travel, hotel for two evenings and meal expense.

The National Society competition between State Society winners is held during the NSSAR's National Congress in June/July.


The National Rumbaugh Orations Committee is currently attempting to raise the level of scholarship awards for our national winners.  Please consider contributing to the Orations endowment by accessing the fillable form "The Dr. Joseph Warren Medal".  Our youth thank you for giving them this increased opportunity for education.  You can download the form here.


Rules of the Rumbaugh Oration Contest

For further information about the contest, do one of the following

  • Call, write, or Email the contact in a nearby Chapter or State Society
  • Email to NSSAR bgo586atcomcast [dot] net (Gerald Brent, National Co-Chairmen) and jhfbmwm5ataol [dot] com (John Franklin, National Co-Chairmen)
  • Write -- making sure to enclose a number 10, business size, self-addressed envelope -- to the

    Chairman of the Rumbaugh Oration Contest c/o NSSAR Headquarters 809 West Main Street Louisville, KY 40202

See a list of our Previous National Winners