TLW's Beauty Pageantscope™ (Beauty Pageant Historyscope)
By T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper™
© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.
Original Pub. Date: Oct. 7, 2015. Last Update: Apr. 20, 2017.
Westerners are not only known as history ignoramuses, but double dumbass history ignoramuses when it comes to beauty pageant history. Since I'm the one-and-only Historyscoper (tm), let me quickly bring you up to speed before you dive into my Master Historyscope.
In 1880 the first modern beauty pageant takes place in Rehoboth Beach, Del., looking for "Miss United States"; winner is Myrtle Meriwether; the judges are Thomas A. Edison, Monsieur Banwart, and Del. Supreme Court Judge Harrington.
On Aug. 19, 1888 the first modern beauty contest in Europe is held in Spa, Belgium.
On Sept. 8, 1921 after the Fall Frolic last Sept. 25, consisting of 350 men pushing wicker chairs carrying young maidens and headed by Miss Ernestine Cremona wearing a white Peace robe is a hit, Miss America 1921, the first Miss America Pageant is held at the Million Dollar Pier at the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J. in an effort to extend the tourist season beyond the summer, with 100K attending; the winner of the $100 Golden Mermaid crown is 5'1" 30-25-32 108 lb. 16-y.-o. Miss Washington, D.C. Margaret Gorman (Margaret G. Cahill) (1905-95), who also wins the Bathers' Review; the only judge is His Oceanic Majesty King Neptune Maxim Hudson (1853-1927), inventor of smokeless gunpowder, who also officiates the 1922 pageant.
On Sept. 7, 1922 the Miss America 1922 contest is held at the Million Dollar Pier in Atlantic City, N.J., with the Bathing Review of 57 beauty pageant contestants joined by the mayor and his entire police force in bathing atire; Miss Columbus, Ohio Mary Katherine Campbell (1905-90) edges out last year's winner Margaret Gorman; judges incl. Norman Rockwell, James Montgomery Flagg, and Howard Chandler Christy, who start out with a body part points system then switch to overall beauty; the last time that the Inter-City champ (Campbell) must compete against prof. (Dorothy Knapp) and amateur (Gladys Grenemeyer) winners.
On Sept. 7, 1923 the Miss America 1923 contest is held at the Million Dollar Pier in Atlantic City, N.J.; 1922 winner Mary Katherine Campbell repeats, becoming the first (until ?).
On Sept. 6, 1924 the Miss America 1924 contest is held at the Million Dollar Pier in Atlantic City, N.J.; the winner is Miss Philadelphia Ruth Malcomson (1906-88), last year's amateur winner; last year's winner Mary Katherine Campbell is runner-up; future actress Beatrice Roberts is a finalist.
On Sept. 11, 1925 the Miss America 1925 contest is held at the Million Dollar Pier in Atlantic City, N.J.; after last year's winner Ruth Malcomson hears rumors that pros are going to enter because a Hollywood film is going to be shot there, she withdraws, causing pageant officials to cover-up by instituting a new rule that no Miss America winner can return to compete; the winners are Miss Calif. Fay Elinora Lanphier (1905-59) (runner-up in 1924, and 1925 Rose Queen) (first Miss America representing an entire state), and Miss Los Angeles Adrienne Dore; King Neptune, played by actor Ernst Torrence falls into the ocean and has to be rescued by lifeguards; actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr. plays Neptune's son Triton.
In 1936 the Miss America contest introduces the talent award, which is given to Rose Veronica Coyle (1914-88) of Philly (first to receive an encore), who also wins the Miss America title, going on to marry Leonard Schlessinger, nat. gen. mgr. of the Warner Bros. Theatres.
In 1939 Miss Michigan Patricia Donnelly (1919-2009) wins the 1939 Miss America title, becoming the last to be crowned at the Steel Pier, and becoming known as "the Long-Stemmed American Beauty"; the first Miss Congeniality title is awarded to Miss America contestant Doris Coggins (Miss Mississippi).
On Sept. 7, 1940 the Miss America contest in Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. introduces the swimsuit award, which goes to Frances Marie Burke (1922-) of Philly, who also wins the Miss America title.
In 1941 Hollywood actress Jeanne Elizabeth Crain (1925-2003) wins the Miss Long Beach title, and is runner-up in the Miss America contest.
On Sept. 8, 1945 after refusing to change her name to Meredith or Merrick, 35.5-25-35 Bronx, N.Y.-born Bess Myerson (1924-2014) is crowned Miss America, becoming the first Jewish and first Miss New York contestant to win the title, and the second Queen Esther for the Jewish people; she entered after they offered a college scholarship to the winner for the first time; too bad, she experiences so much anti-Semitism during her tour that she resigns and travels with the Anti-Defamation League, giving the speech "You Can't Be Beautiful and Hate"; next Jewish Miss America in ? - who wants to think what her sisters in Europe look like?
In 1948 Okla.-born Miss Kansas Vera Miles (Vera June Ralston) (1929-) places 3rd in the 1948 Miss America Contest, moving to Hollywood in 1950 to become an actress; meanwhile Tex.-born Debbie (Mary Frances) Reynolds (1932-) wins the title of Miss Burbank, Calif., doing ditto.
On Sept. 9, 1950 the Miss America Pageant crowns the winner for 1951, not 1950, so that there never is a 1950 Miss America?; winner Miss Ala. Yolande Betbeze (1929-) refuses to pose in a swimsuit, which the pageant backs, changing the focus to scholarship over beauty, causing Catalina Swimwear to drop sponsorship in favor of its own brainless pageants Miss USA and Miss Universe starting next year; in 2006 Miss America moves its pageant to Jan. so that the year confusion can end.
On Sept. 11, 1954 the Miss America pageant is televised for the first time, and after reciting a John Millington Synge monologue to show she's not a dumb blonde, wholesome straight white Los Angeles, Calif.-born Lee Ann Meriwether (1935-) (Miss Calif.) is crowned Miss America 1955 to the Bernie Wayne song There She Is, Miss America; on Aug. 1, 1956 a UPI wire photo of her and Joe DiMaggio falsely announces their engagement, later traced to Walter Winchell, but it works well enough to launch her acting career, and she goes on to reach the heights by starring in er, "Star Trek"?
In 1959 Anita Jane Bryant (1940-) wins the Miss Oklahoma title, but is only runner-up in the Miss America contest, which is won by Mary Ann Mobley (1937-2014) of Miss. (first time for Miss.).
She's a beautiful girl, no matter if she's black or white or black on white? On Sept. 17, 1983 after singing "Happy Days Are Here Again", Vanessa Lynn Williams (1963-) becomes the first African-Am. Miss America; too bad, she has to resign on July 23, 1984 after nude lezzie fun photos of her with a white woman are pub. 6 mo. later in the Sept. 1984 issue of Penthouse mag. (which sells 5.3M copies, the #2 selling issue of a mag. in history, #1 being the Nov. 1972 issue of Playboy at 7.1M); runner-up Suzette Charles (DeGaetano) (1963-) becomes the 2nd African-Am. Miss America, serving a record 7 weeks - a hundred years from now sexual athletics will be a required event?
On May 23, 1989 Miss Universe 1989 sees Netherlands contestant Angela Visser (1966-) (first winner from that country) become the last true blonde Miss Universe of the millennium.
On Sept. 10, 1989 Gretchen Elizabeth Carlson (1966-) of Minn. is crowned Miss America after playing Sarasate's violin composition "Zigeunerweisen".
On Mar. 2, 1990 20-y.-o. 5'11-3/4" Carole Ann-Marie Gist (1969-) of Mich. becomes the first African-Am. Miss USA, crowned at its 39th pageant in Wichita, Kan., then on Apr. 15 becomes runner-up to green-eyed white redhead ("the Beauty Queen from Hell") Mona Grudt (1971-) of Norway in the Miss Universe pageant; the first $10K Quality of Life Award (sponsored by Fruit of the Loom) is awarded by the Miss America Pageant to Michelle Kline of Penn. - now the ratings will tank for sure?
In early 1996 Donald Trump acquires the rights to the May Miss Universe pageant for $10M; his wife Marla Maples hosts it in 1996 and 1997; too bad, its ratings are already in a slide, going from 35M in 1974 to 8M in 2002. On May 17, 1996 the Miss Universe 1996 Pageant in Las Vegas, Nev. is won by 5'7" Miss Venezuela Yoseph Alicia Machado Furjado (1976-); too bad, during her reign she gains 55 lbs., causing sponsors to drop support and pageant owner Donald Trump to stage a media event showing her working out and giving her a second chance, going on to call her "an eating machine", "Ms. Piggy", and "Ms. Housekeeping", pissing-off the PC press; she goes on to pose for the Feb. 2006 issue of Playboy, and be used by Hillary Clinton as ammo in her first debate with Trump on Sept. 26, 2016, causing dirt to be dug up on her incl. how she was the babe of a major narcotics trafficker and had his baby, how she threatened to kill a Venezuelan judge, and how a govt. witness who testified about their affair was shot to death.
In 1996 after years of declining ratings, NBC-TV loses interest in the Miss America pageant, which it had sponsored for 30 years, and ABC-TV begins airing the pageant starting next year; they drop the contract after the Sept. 18, 2004 pageant brings in a record low 9.8M viewers - Sandra Bullock was better in "Miss Congeniality", and Patsy Ramsey gives them bad vibes?
In 2005 Melissa Ann Young wins the Miss Wisc. USA beauty pageant; on Mar. 30, 2016 she tells Donald Trump that she is suffering from a terminal illness, causing Trump to set up a crowdfunding site through Fundanything.com for her Mexican-Am. son to go to college.
On May 16, 2010 5'9" Lebanese Shiite Muslim (Miss Mich. USA) Rima Fakih (1985-) wins Miss USA 2010, becoming the first Muslim, first Mich. USA winner since 1993, and the first not from a Southern U.S. state since 2004; after numerous criticisms of her loose take on Islam, in Apr. 2016 she converts to Marionite Christianity for her wealthy Arab music producer fiance Wassim Salibi.
On Dec. 20, 2015 after Donald Trump sells-out in June amid controversy over his statements about Mexicans, the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant sees host Steve Harvey blunder and mistakenly name Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez instead of Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (1989-), causing an awkward scene; meanwhile Miss Puerto Rico Destiny Velez is suspended for tweeting the truth that the "Islamic God is not the same God as Christians and Jews".
On June 5, 2016 Miss USA 2016 in Las Vegas, Nev. (first broadcast on Fox) is won by Deshauna Barber (1989-) of Washingotn, D.C. after social media decides the winner for the first time.