The 1940s began shortly after the first salvos of World War II were fired. That war dominated the decade-for millions of lives touched or ended by the war, for those faced with the task of rebuilding when it ended, and even for the Interstate Oratorical Association. This paper examines the impact of the decade on the speeches presented at IOC and looks at patterns which appeared in the topics chosen, structures used, styles employed, and choice of supporting materials on which speakers relied. Attention is also paid to such logistical aspects of the contest as the tournament's continuing use of gender- separate competition, the awards given, the locations and dates selected, publication practices, and schools attending. An extensive appendix to this paper provides quotations from the most successful speech rations "speak for themselves" in their own words.



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