73rd Oratorical contest underway this weekend

For the past 73 years, The American Legion National Oratorical Contest has awarded the championship title to many elite students who went on to make a name for themselves, including CNN co-founder and longtime TV broadcaster, Lou Dobbs. And in a matter of three days, 53 high school students from across the country will make their debut in Indianapolis to compete in the 73rd Oratorical contest in hopes of winning the championship title.

On Saturday at 9:45 a.m. EDT, the Oratorical program will begin with the quarterfinals, followed by the semifinals. The semifinal winners will advance to the championship finals on Sunday, which will once again be aired live via the Legion's Web site

Tune in Sunday, April 11 at 10 a.m. EDT for the live Web streaming of the Oratorical championship contest, when contestants vie for first place and an $18,000 scholarship. The live webcast will allow family and friends of the contestants, as well as other online viewers, front-row seats to the event where the overall champion will be announced.

"The 53 contestants who will be competing this weekend are all winners and outstanding representatives of today's youth," said Joseph Caouette, National Americanism Commission chairman. "Their participation in this wonderful contest has afforded them the opportunity to study and to explore one of the greatest documents of our country, the U.S. Constitution."

To see a list of the upcoming 53 Oratorical competitors, click here. And don't forget to check out the past 72 national champions by clicking here.