In 1938, the same year the national contest started. It was coed from its beginning. The first girl to win was Jeanne-Mann Dickinson of Virginia in 1951; the finals were held in Richmond in her home state. The Independent Record of Helena, Mont., which reported Dickinson's victory because she had relatives in the circulation area, noted that she won a $4,000 scholarship; the overall winner of the 2014 national contest next month will receive an $18,000 scholarship.
See all the past national winners on the Oratorical page.