The 4th National Spelling Bee was held at the National Museum in Washington, D.C. on May 23, 1928, hosted by the Louisville Courier-Journal. Scripps-Howard would not sponsor the Bee until 1941.
The winner was 13-year-old Betty Robinson of South Bend, Indiana (who took 2nd place in the 1926 bee), correctly spelling the word knack, followed by albumen. Pauline Gray, 13, of West Salem, Ohio placed second (she spelled knack as "nack"), followed by Bessie Doig, 11, of Detroit in third, who faltered on "bacillus."
There were 23 contestants this year, made up of 17 girls and 6 boys. The first place award was $1000, with second at $500 at third at $200. Every entrant won at least $25 in gold.