Second Inaugural essay contest

December 14th, 2012

On January 21, President Barack Obama will take the oath as President for the second time. To help students think about the event, the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago is hosting an essay contest for Illinois high school students to create their own versions of the second inaugural address. 

The CRFC explains: 

Only 15 presidents have offered a Second Inaugural address, including Abraham Lincoln, whose remarks are considered one of the greatest speeches in American history.

What would you say to America if you were taking office on January 21? Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago (CRFC) invites Illinois high school students to submit their “second inaugural” essay for a chance to win one of three scholarships.  Essays can be up to 700 words (two more word than Lincoln’s).

Head over to CRFC for more details on the contest, but the assignment is one that can be completed by students everywhere. What made Lincoln’s address so remarkable? What lessons might Lincoln’s summons to a national purpose offer us in dealing with our domestic political adversaries in the partisan battles of public life today? And how would studying Lincoln’s address affect what you might say in your own second inaugural address come January?

Read Lincoln’s First and Second Inaugural Addresses. 

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