Nadine Yousif writing for BBC News, Toronto: The untold tale of America’s first spelling bee victor.

Turns out Marie C. Bolden, first ever national spelling bee champion is from my home state of Ohio:

Born in Ohio, Ms Bolden, 13, was one of 15 eighth graders selected to represent the city of Cleveland in what was the first national spelling competition in the US.

I do appreciate (and would have preferred citations so I could enjoy this in context) included reasons given by people to suggest as to how it was possible that the New Orleans team could have lost to Ms. Bolden:

Her win was especially opposed in Louisiana, a southern state that was once one of the centres of the US slave trade, where newspapers had suggested that New Orleans teams lost the competition due to being unsettled by having to compete with a black student.