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The State Normal School

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The event of the year among students at the Normal School, if perhaps the commencement season be excepted, is the Oratorical contest instituted and managed by the Normal News. Contestants - four ladies and four gentlemen - are selected, in part by the four societies, and in part by the faculty. The contest for the current year occurred on the evening of May n - Friday of last week. It will be a memorable evening in many ways. The exercises throughout were of a high order of excellence; the audience was large; the occasion drew distinguished friends of the participants and the school from a distance; and the judges were persons honored both in person and office. Two of the speakers (under different themes) discussed or used Gen eral Booth's plan for the elevation of England's "submerged tenth"; two considered the "problem of the unemployed." "Education in Politics," and "The Mission of the United States," took high ground on somewhat more familiar subjects. The successful speakers were Miss Mabel W. Smith, of Niles, Mich., who treated in an admirable way, both retrospectively and prophetically, the place and service of a great nation - " Waiting Russia"; and Mr. L. G. Holbrook, on "The A.nnexation of Hawaii." There were in the papers fewer platitudes than such occasions usually furnish; the rhetoric was generally good, and with a single exception the speaking was natural and effective. The audience listened through interest. No higher compliment can be paid amateur speakers. To hold an audience means both that one is saying something of value, and is saying it fairly wcll. On this occasion, it meant both in a great degree. The judges were Gov. John T. Rich, Rev. J. W. Bradshaw, Rev. Caroline Bartlett, Mrs. J. J. Bagley, Hon. Willard Stearns, and Supt. of Public Instruction, H. R. Pattengill. All were present except the last. Governor Rich announced the decisiĆ³n of the judges, in which the audience seeraed to coticur; Rev. Bradshaw made the presentation address to the lady winner, Miss Smith, and Rev. Bartlett to the gentleman, Mr. Holbrook. The prize in each case consisted of a twenty dollar gold piece and a medal, having an aggregate value for both contestants of $no. The receipts were large; sufficient to meet all demands and leave a handsome surplus to the deserving managers. No account of the contest would be complete without some mention of the music, which at the Normal is always good. On this occasion it was excellent.


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