14th Scripps National Spelling Bee

14th National Spelling Bee
DateMay 31, 1938
LocationNational Museum in Washington, D.C.
WinnerMarian Richardson
ResidenceFloyd County, Indiana
SponsorThe Louisville Times
Sponsor locationLouisville, Kentucky
Winning wordsanitarium
No. of contestants22
PronouncerHarold F. Harding and George F. Hussey[1]
Preceded by13th Scripps National Spelling Bee
Followed by15th 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 on May 20, 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