43rd Scripps National Spelling Bee

The 43rd Scripps National Spelling Bee was held in Washington, D.C. at the Mayflower Hotel on June 3–4, 1970, sponsored by the E.W. Scripps Company.

43rd Scripps National Spelling Bee
The Mayflower Hotel, site of the 43rd National Spelling Bee
DateJune 3–4, 1970
LocationThe Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.
WinnerLibby Childress
ResidenceMount Airy, North Carolina
SponsorWinston-Salem Journal & Sentinel
Sponsor locationWinston-Salem, North Carolina
Winning wordcroissant
No. of contestants74[1]
PronouncerRichard R. Baker
Preceded by42nd Scripps National Spelling Bee
Followed by44th Scripps National Spelling Bee

The winner was 14-year-old Libby Childress of Mount Airy, North Carolina, with the winning word "croissant". The competition ended with an 18-word duel with 14-year-old Tom Moe Jr. of Denver, who eventually misspelled "corymb" as "chorimbe".[2][3][4][5]

There were 74 spellers this year, 44 girls and 30 boys.[1] The first-place prize was $1000 (and a trip to New York City), $500 for second, $250 for third, $100 for next five, $75 for next ten, and $50 each for the remaining spellers.[1]

As of 2015, Childress is the last entrant from North Carolina to win the national contest.[6]


  1. Macino, Richard L. (2 June 1970). Champ Finds D.C. Capital Idea, Pittsburgh Press
  2. (4 June 1970). Spelling Bee Winners Hies To City Sights, Sarasota Journal (Associated Press)
  3. Macino, Richard L. (5 June 1970). 'Corymb' Spells Victory In Bee, Pittsburgh Press
  4. (5 June 1970). Practice Pays for Teen Spelling Champ, Palm Beach Post (UPI)
  5. (4 June 1970). Champion Speller, Reading Eagle (Associated Press wire photo of Childress and Moe)
  6. (30 May 2013). Celebrating the ability to spell, Times-News (Burlington, North Carolina)