In the beginning . . .
The University of Kentucky's Department of Extension founded the Kentucky Interscholastic League for Debate and Athletics. In 1921, the first state debate was held and won by Lexington High School (Madisonville High School runner-up). Oratory was added the following year, and over the years state contests were established in high school speech, junior high school speech, debate, and drama.
The League's name became the Kentucky High School Speech League, and the group organized its first Constitution in 1947. Festivals were held annually with a championship format adopted in the late 1960s. Today, Kentucky students from Paducah to Paintsville compete at KHSSL Regional and State events! And this means that this is our 100th year of contests!
Summarized from Speech Education in Kentucky: 1792-1968 by Randall Capps of Western Kentucky University.
More information (a timeline of KHSSL history) coming . . . someday!