The good ol' spelling bee, it seems, is an American tradition older than even American independence.
According to this article by Merriam-Webster, Benjamin Franklin recommended a similar contest already 1750.
Connecticut school’s tradition in 1795 was to have the bad spellers clean the schoolhouse while the good spellers went out to play.
Spelling bees then evolved into social entertainment, their geeky appeal going in and out of fashion over the years.
Please keep your fingers crossed for all LearnThatWord members trying out in Washington, D.C. right now!
Click here to learn some trivia about why the spelling bee is dominated by kids of Indian/South Asian decent.