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1942 Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship

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Spelling Bee Champion Richard Earnhart

Image from Time Magazine

On May 26, 2016, after 24 championship rounds, the 89th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee saw the crowning of two co-champion spellers, Jairam Hathwar and Nihar Janga.

74 years ago today, the 18th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee was held with eleven-year-old Richard Earnhart from El Paso, Texas taking the top prize.  Wearing ‘lucky’ Number Thirteen, Earnhart captured the 1942 championship by correctly spelling the word ‘sacrilegious.’  For his prize, Earnhart received $500 and a two-day trip to New York City.  When asked how he was enjoying Manhattan, Earnhart replied that he found it ‘swell…but I would kinda like to get back to normal life sometimes.’

The National Spelling Bee would not occur again until 1946; Scripps postponing all future contests until the successful conclusion of WWII.







This post by Collin Makamson, Student Programs Coordinator @ The National WWII Museum

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