41st Scripps National Spelling Bee

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41st Scripps National Spelling Bee
The Mayflower Hotel, site of the 41st National Spelling Bee
DateJune 5–6, 1968
LocationThe Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.
WinnerRobert L. Walters
ResidenceRussell, Kansas
SponsorThe Topeka Daily Capital
Sponsor locationTopeka, Kansas
Winning wordabalone
No. of contestants75
PronouncerRichard R. Baker
Preceded by40th Scripps National Spelling Bee
Followed by42nd Scripps National Spelling Bee

The 41st Scripps National Spelling Bee was held in Washington, D.C. at the Mayflower Hotel on June 5–6, 1968, sponsored by the E.W. Scripps Company.[1]

The winner was 14-year-old Robert L. Walters of Russell, Kansas, correctly spelling "abalone." Second place went to Ann Johnson of Richfield, Minnesota, who stumbled on the word "myosin". The contest started on June 5 with 75 spellers, including 50 girls and 25 boys. By the end of round 19, only two spellers were left. At one point, both final contestants failed to spell "potiche" correctly.[2] Third place went to Stephen Bacher of Middle Village, Queens, New York, who fell on "talmudical" in the 19th round.[3] A total of 571 words were used.[4]

Some local activities planned for the contestants were cancelled or changed due to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy early on June 5.[3]