14th Scripps National Spelling Bee

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14th National Spelling Bee
Date May 31, 1938
Location National Museum in Washington, D.C.
Winner Marian Richardson
Age 12
Residence Floyd County, Indiana
Sponsor The Louisville Times
Sponsor location Louisville, Kentucky
Winning word sanitarium
No. of contestants 22
Pronouncer Harold F. Harding and George F. Hussey[1]
Preceded by 13th Scripps National Spelling Bee
Followed by 15th Scripps National Spelling Bee

The 14th National Spelling Bee was held at the National Museum in Washington, D.C. on May 31, 1938.[2] Scripps-Howard would not sponsor the Bee until 1941.

The winner was 12-year-old Marian Richardson, who attended a one-room schoolhouse in Floyd County, Indiana, correctly spelling the word sanitarium. Jean Pierce of Kenmore, New York placed second after failing to correctly spell pronunciation.[3][4]

Winner Marian Richardson, later Byrnes, became an environmental activist in Chicago, and died in 2010.[5]


  1. ^ (31 May 1938). Article (paywall), Courier-Journal ("the pronouncers, Dr. Harold E. Harding of George Washington University and George F. Hussey.")
  2. ^ (31 May 1938). Spelling Bee Finals: 22 Boys and Girls Compete for $1750 Cash Prizes, The New York Sun
  3. ^ List of National Spelling Bee Champions
  4. ^ (1 June 1938). Farm Girl Wins Spelling Bee, Lawrence Journal-World
  5. ^ Eldeib, Duaa. (30 May 2010). Southeast Side activist fought for environment, Chicago Tribune