Over the weekend, the third annual Robert G. Ingersoll Oratory Contest was held in Washington, D.C. Competitors recite excerpts from the Great Agnostic’s speeches and a panel of judges vote on the best speakers — who receive hundreds of dollars in prizes.
Eleven contestants competed by reading a short selection from any of Ingersoll’s speeches. Participants traveled from as far as Florida and Michigan. Sarah Henry, 17, took first place by reading from “Improved Man.” Terence Madden of Anne Arbor, MI took second place reading from Ingersoll’s talk about Thomas Paine. Third place was won by Tya M. Pope from New Castle, DE, who chose from two related speeches: “A Christmas Sermon” and “What I Want for Christmas.” Jenniffer Masterson from Washington DC took fourth place reading a selection from Ingersoll’s “Suffrage Address.”
Video from the event should be available on the contest’s website soon.