The 7th National Spelling Bee was held at the National Museum in Washington, D.C. on May 27, 1931. Scripps-Howard would not sponsor the Bee until 1941.
The winner was 12-year-old Ward Randall of Illinois, correctly spelling the word foulard. Charles Michel, 14, of Bellaire, Ohio took second (misspelling foulard as folard), followed by Mary Scheidler, 14, of Millhousen, Indiana in third. Blanche Krell, 13, of Detroit placed fourth. Aaron Butler, Jr. of Weir, Kansas, placed fifth. Butler had dropped out at 15th place but was reinstated after contending he had properly spelled "incroachment". When he was reinstated, only six spellers were left. Dorothy Greenwald placed 17th, but went on to win the following year.
There were 23 contestants this year. Samuel M. North, superintendent of Maryland high schools, served as pronouncer, along with Charles E. Hill of George Washington University
First prize was $1000, followed by $500 for second, and $250 for third.
The NBC radio network broadcast the final hour of the bee.