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Robert G. Ingersoll Oratory Contest Returns to Washington June 30, 2013

Judges to include best-selling author Susan Jacoby

For Immediate Release

Contact: Steve Lowe, 202-657-6346
ingersoll@wash.org

(Washington D.C. March 19, 2013)—Organizers of an oratory contest to honor Robert G. Ingersoll, a famous 19th century speaker known as “The Great Agnostic,” have announced the return of the outdoor event to Dupont Circle and are seeking up to 15 people to compete. 

Susan JacobyThis year's panel of judges will include award-winning writer Susan Jacoby, author of The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought, released earlier this year. 

Contestants will deliver a brief excerpt from Ingersoll's works. Cash prizes will be given for the top four orators: First place, $250; second place, $150; third place, $100; fourth place, $50.Contestants should sign up through the contest website, where they can also find more information and links to Ingersoll’s speeches. 

The deadline to sign up is June 15, 2013, with participants chosen on a first-come, first-served basis. An alternate waiting list will also be maintained.

“Despite being one of our country's most influential historical figures, Robert Ingersoll has become largely forgotten,” said Steve Lowe, the event's founder. “This contest is meant to help revive his message and his popularity.”

Robert G. Ingersoll was an outspoken critic of religion, as well as an advocate for racial equality, birth control, women's rights, Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, Shakespeare, free speech and voting rights for Washington, DC, where he moved with his family in 1878, residing here for seven years. Besides being a speaker who delivered over 1,200 public speeches to packed houses all over the country, he was a successful lawyer and Civil War veteran. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. 

The contest is sponsored by the Washington Area Secular HumanistsThe Center for Inquiry-DC, the American Humanist Association and the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum, a project of the Council for Secular Humanism. 

Susan Jacoby will sign copies of The Great Agnostic following the contest. 

Photos and videos of the two previous contests can be found on the contest website.

In case of rain, the contest will be held nearby at James Hoban's Irish Restaurant & Bar at One Dupont Circle, NW, near the southern entrance to the Dupont Circle subway station.

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