The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) is excited to announce that our champion of the 2023 Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest is Madeline Lauren Phong from Indiana. Madeline competed with several other state winners to secure her 2023 national championship title.

The Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest is open to all students attending 9th through 12th grades in public, parochial or private schools; or home-school students studying at the same grade levels. The preliminary rounds of the contest begin at the local chapter level; students have the opportunity to advance to the state or national levels where scholarships and cash prizes are awarded. It is our intent that the contest will continue to expand on all levels and bring the voices of our young patriots to greater light across our entire nation.


Madeline Lauren Phuong (1st Place-Indiana)
Participants must write an original oration of not less than five minutes, or more than six minutes. The oration must be delivered from memory and without the use of notes or any kind of props. The subject of the oration shall deal with an event, a personality, or a document pertaining to the Revolutionary War with a mention of our nation’s 250th anniversary celebration. It is essential that each oration show the relationship it bears to America today. Evidence of historical research and creative presentation are also important. The oration will be judged based upon its composition, delivery, significance, historical accuracy, and relevance to our 250th anniversary.

Three cash/scholarship awards are given: the National First Place Winner receives $8,000; the 2nd Place Runner-up receives $5,000; and the 3rd Place Runner-up receives $3,000 cash prize. Each also receives an Olympic-sized medal. The three non-placing finalists are each awarded $500 cash. All other non-finalist national contestants are awarded $200 cash. An informational flyer and the contest forms can be found below. Please be aware that the local and state application deadline dates may vary, so interested applicants should reach out to their local SAR chapter for further details.

Primary Contact for All Entries:

Mr. John H. “Jack” Bredenfoerder

NSSAR Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Chairman

8751 Haverhill Lane

Cincinnati, Ohio 45236

Email Link

Donate to the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Orations Contest

Historical Oration Contest Information Flyer Click Here
Historical Oration Entry Packet Click Here
In Person Contest Procedures Click Here

Previous Winners For forty-four years, the National Oration Contest sponsored by the SAR carried the name Douglass G. High. In 1993, the name of this oratorical contest was changed, in perpetuity to the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest. The previous annual first place winners are:

Year Winning Orator Sponsoring SAR Society
2023 Madeline Lauren Phuong Indiana SAR
2022 James Schultz Kansas SAR
2021 Kelsey Lopp Florida SAR
2020 Abraham Paik Ohio SAR
2019 Allison Elizabeth Stanley Alabama SAR
2018 Rebekah R. Doane Indiana SAR
2017 Taryn Murphy California SAR
2016 Liam Patrick O’Connor Delaware SAR
2015 Sophia Noelle Zupanc Ohio SAR
2014 Hayley Caroline Snowden Virginia SAR
2013 Luis Edmundo Vasquez Texas SAR
2012 Phillip Paul Cozzi Illinois SAR
2011 Jackson Bloom North Carolina SAR
2010 Kristin Bowers Virginia SAR
2009 Philip Bryan Hayes Texas SAR
2008 Virginia Macfarlan Arkansas SAR
2007 David Anguish Delaware SAR
2006 Edward Seage, Jr. Delaware SAR
2005 Terilyn T. Parker Louisiana SAR
2004 Chris Hughes Maryland SAR
2003 Blake Phyllip Sercye Illinois SAR
2002 Gregory Field Price Maryland SAR
2001 Micah Wade Kubic Missouri SAR
2000 Andrew Green Kentucky SAR
1999 Erik W. Jorgensen California SAR
1998 Anna Rene Smith Arkansas SAR
1997 Joshua M. Koenig Florida SAR
1996 John Barry Dunlap II Maryland SAR
1995 Julie M. Paik California SAR
1994 Michael Bowling Oklahoma SAR
1993 Dennis Purvis II Ohio SAR
1992 John C. O’Quinn North Carolina SAR
1991 Jody Cook Kentucky SAR
1990 Jonathan Chad Sauls Florida SAR
1989 Martin Kelly Maryland SAR
1988 Kena M. Tague Kansas SAR
1987 Valie Scott Georgia SAR
1986 Brian Nicholson North Carolina SAR
1985 Herman Graham III Ohio SAR
1984 David Whitaker Kansas SAR
1983 Ruth L. Arnet California SAR
1982 De-Wayne Layfield Texas SAR
1981 David T. Johnson Texas SAR
1980 Brian K. Stolley Florida SAR
1979 David Derach Indiana SAR
1978 Greg Evans Virginia SAR
1977 Tom Bishop Georgia SAR
1976 Kelly P. Gallagher Texas SAR
1975 Mark A. McCord Georgia SAR
1974 Jack O. Thomas Ohio SAR
1973 Roy Headrick Tennessee SAR
1972 Joseph W. McLean Virginia SAR
1971 John R. Davis Texas SAR
1970 George A. Ott III Georgia SAR
1969 Michael Rosenbaum Virginia SAR
1968 Timothy George Tennessee SAR
1967 Walter Gordon Georgia SAR
1966 James A. Haverkamp Indiana SAR
1965 Robert P. Lacey Virginia SAR
1964 Gary Lee Thorne Virginia SAR
1963 David Turner Tennessee SAR
1962 Ralph Milone Florida SAR
1961 James Lutz Ohio SAR
1960 Herbert Schwartz Illinois SAR
1959 Julien Calvin Florida SAR
1958 Lief Lohrbauer Florida SAR
1957 Thomas Ing Washington SAR>
1956 John White Virginia SAR
1955 John Haywood Ohio SAR
1954 William P. Lynch New Jersey SAR
1953 James Mounrie Virginia SAR
1952 No Contest Held No Contest Held
1951 Thomas Hamilton Ohio SAR
1950 Ronald Hergen Empire State SAR
1949 Robert Wood Ohio SAR