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The official website of the alabama society

Chairman:Mike Wells

The contest is designed to give high school students an opportunity to explore events that shaped American History.  Contestants shall be in the 9th through 12th grade of study during the contest year.

Contest History:

The George S and Stella M, Knight Essay Contestant was originally established and named in honor of President Calvin Coolidge, who won a local SAR essay contest while a student at Amherst.  The contest was reestablished in 1988 by Compatriot (SAR member title) McCarthy DeMere.  In 1995, the contest was renamed the George S. and Stella M. Knight Essay Contest in honor of their generous gift to the SAR to support the contest.  The program is designed to give Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior students an opportunity to explore events that shaped American History.

Conducted at the Chapter, State and National Society levels, the students must submit an original essay with topics based on an original research and deal with an event, person, philosophy or ideal associated with the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence or the framing of the United States Constitution.

Eligibility, Submission and Essay Deadlines

The contest is open to all students who are United States citizens or legal resident aliens.
Contestants must be in grades 9th through 12th during the contest year.  They must be attending school including accredited home schools.

The contestant must be entered through an SAR Chapter near the student’s residence.  If there is no Chapter Essay Chairman in the contestant’s area, then the essay may be entered at the State level known as a State level.  Only one entry per student is permitted per contest year.  The first place National winner is not eligible to participate in the contest again. 

If the Chapter chairman is not indicated on the State Society website,, then the contestant is encouraged to contact both the Chapter President and the Chapter Secretary who will confirm receipt of inquiry and will indicate if they are participating or if the entry needs to be sent to the State Chairman.

All essays must be submitted to the Chapter and State chairman by the established deadlines.  All Chapter winning essays must be submitted to the State Chairman by the deadline established.  The deadline is established to allow time for all entries to be judged at the State level with the winning State entry being forwarded to the National SAR Chairman tor that deadline. 

The Essay Contest Deadlines vary from year-to-year depending of the date of the State SAR convention.

The established dates for 2016-2017 Essay Contest year:  

Student entry deadlines:
     Chapter:  December 31, 2016
     State-at-Large:   December 31, 2016

Judging Deadlines:
     Chapter to State Chairman:   January 25, 2017
     State Judging Final at State Conventions:  February 17-18, 2017
     State to National Chairman:  February 28, 2017



Chapter awards are the sole discretion of each SAR Chapter.

State Awards:

First Place:   

  • $550
  • George S and Stella M Knight Essay State Medal
  • George S and Stella M Knight Essay State certificate.
  • Optional attendance at State Convention Banquet.
  • Optional travel and one night stay at convention hotel.

Second Place:  $350 and a certificate of recognition
Third Place:     $200 and a certificate of recognition

National Awards:

First Place:

  • $5000
  • George S and Stella M Knight Essay State Medal
  • George S and Stella M Knight Essay State certificate
  • Up to $500 toward travel expenses
  • Single hotel accommodations for winner and chaperone
  • Attendance at Youth Awards Luncheon

Second Place: $2500 and a Recognition Certificate

Third Place: $1000 and a Recognition Certificate

The National winners will be informed in order to attend the activities at NSSAR Congress.  The First Place National winner will read the winning essay at the Youth Awards Luncheon.  The winning essay will be published in the SAR Magazine.


The National winning essay will be submitted for publication in The SAR Magazine, the National Society publication, and on the SAR Knight Essay Contest webpage.  Participants in this contest agree that their essay may be published in The SAR Magazine and on the SAR Knight Essay Contest webpage.  Winning essay participants, on all levels, may be required to supply a tax identification number in order to receive their award.  By entering this contest, all participants agree that if their essay in chosen as the National winning essay, it will be property of the National Society of The Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR).  All participants further agree that the National winning essay may not be submitted to any other contest or used for any other purpose without the express permission of the NSSAR Knight Essay Contest Chairman.


Participants in the Knight Essay Contest agree that the interpretation of the rules and the decisions of the National Chairman and its Judges must govern without reservation and that decisions of the judges and/or the National Chairman are final.

The National Chairman will notify all State Chairman who submitted an essay whether their entry was among the finalists by early April of the Contest year.

 Alabama Society SAR
George S. and Stella M Knight Essay Chairman