The History of the Scripps National Spelling Bee
The National Spelling Bee has been a celebrated academic competition for nearly one hundred years. The Louisville Courier-Journal sponsored the first bee in 1925, consisting of just nine spellers, (Maguire,68). The champion was Frank Neuhauser, who claimed victory by correctly spelling gladiolus, (68-69). Neuhauser’s prize for winning the very first national bee was $500 and the opportunity to meet President Calvin Coolidge, (69).
Maguire described the diversity present at the National Spelling Bee during the early years of its existence. In the 1929, the small pool of spellers included children of French, Israeli, English, Irish, Japanese, Swedish, Italian, Czech, and Polish descent, (73). This was a testament to the determination and dedication of immigrants to America.
The bee was successful and celebrated until 1943 when it took a hiatus until competition resumed in 1946 following World War Two, (75). The bee became increasingly more difficult throughout the latter half of the twentieth century.
Making it to the National Spelling Bee
Making it to the national bee is a lengthy process. Spellers often begin “bee season” with a classroom or grade level bee. Often held midway through the school year, these bees are usually very informal and the words used are left to the discretion of the teacher or...
... middle of paper ...
...sed words both times, ("Spellbinding"). The thirteen-year-old from Bayside Hills, New York was characterized by cracking his knuckles onstage. Many spellers have characteristic gestures as they spell, ("Spellbinding"). Mahankali seized the title by correctly spelling the word "knaidel", and along with the prestige and glory of winning, received $30,000, ("Spellbinding").
Young spellers from all across this nation and several others dedicate their lives to studying words and their patterns. The amount of work is mind-boggling, but there is no greater honor for a young word lover.
Maguire, James. American Bee. Holtzbrinck Publisher. 2006. Print. 9 April 2014
“New Rule For The Bee,” Time For Kids (Grades 3-4) 3.24 (2013): 2.MAS Ultra-School Edition
Web. 2 Apr. 2014
“Spellbinding.” Sunday Times, The (2013):8, 9. Newspaper Source. Web. 2 Apr 2014
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