At noon on Sunday, June 30, in Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C., 15 contestants will each deliver a brief excerpt from Robert G. Ingersoll’s works. A panel of judges will evaluate and award prizes for the best performance. Sign up to be a contestant, or just come to hear the outrageous blasphemy and rhetoric of this undeservedly forgotten American orator. Bring your blanket or chair and applaud your favorite selection or speaker. The panel of judges will include Susan Jacoby author of The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought.
Robert Green Ingersoll, known as The Great Agnostic, was a famous 19th century orator and outspoken critic of religion. He was an advocate for racial equality, women’s rights, Darwin’s theory of evolution, free speech, birth control, and voting rights for D.C. He delivered over 1,200 speeches to packed houses across the country in the late 1800s. After he moved his family to Washington, D.C., in 1878, he lived, worked, and spoke here for seven years. He was a very successful lawyer, political speaker, and Civil War veteran - yet he has been neglected by history.
For more details and to register as a contestant, please visit the Ingersoll Oratory Contest website. Don't delay. Only a few more contestant spots available!
"Happiness is the only good.
The place to be happy is here.
The time to be happy is now.
The way to be happy is to make others so."
– Robert Green Ingersoll
The event is free to attend and open to the public. Sponsored by:
Center for Inquiry DC (CFI-DC), Washington Area Secular Humanists (WASH), Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum , a project of the Council for Secular Humanism , and American Humanist Association (AHA).
Become a Member Today Support our programming and expand our presence in the Washington, DC area.
The mission of Center for Inquiry–DC is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.
Volunteers are vital to the success of the Center. Sign up to receive information about upcoming volunteer opportunities by visiting our online group.