The first Miss America pageant was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 7-8, 1921. This contest was designed to draw tourists’ attention to extend their Labor day holiday season and spent more time enjoying the festival in Atlantic City.
Miss America Pageant 1921
Miss America or Miss America pageant is a beauty competition in which young women participate and represent their states. These contestants demonstrate their artistic talents, skills, leadership, and poise. The winner was decided by a panel of judges and awarded the title Miss America. The scholarship money is around $50,000.
First-Ever Miss America Pageant
The beauty pageant was a newspaper- sponsored competition also known as the Inter-City Beauty Contest, held in 1921. It was mainly organized in the festival namely the Fall Frolic in Atlantic City, New Jersey, to extend the tourist holiday season. The sixteen-year-old Margaret Gorman was the first Miss America and won two grand prizes that include the Golden Mermaid trophy and the Inter-City Beauty prize and known as “the most beautiful bathing girl in America.”Miss Camden and Kathryn Gearon were runner-ups and Virginia Lee, won Miss New York, the professional division.
1. Who Was the First Miss America?
- A. Nellie Orr
- B. Margaret Gorman
- C. Emma Pharo
- D. Virginia Lee
Miss Washington DC, Margaret Gorman went for a yearlong national tour to represent the best of the profession.
The First Pageant Contestants
- Margaret Bates, Miss Newark
- Kathryn M. Gearon, Miss Camden
- Virginia Lee, New York City
- Margaret Gorman, Miss Washington, DC
- Hazel Harris, Miss Ocean City
- Emma Pharo, Miss Harrisburg
- Thelma Matthews, Miss Pittsburgh
- Nellie Orr, Miss Philadelphia
Fun Facts about Miss America History
In 1921, The Fall Frolic festival was organized for 2 days as an “Inter-City Beauty” contest and attracted many people at least 100, 000.
The next year the contest was changed into a national contest. Gorman returned to secure her title. She was named Miss America (the first time the title was used), and the contestants came from various countries to compete.
Miss Columbus Mary Katherine Campbell was the only woman who won two titles in 1922 and 1923.
The beauty contest rules are modified. Contestants can participate in local and state pageants numerous times but they cannot represent the same state more than once.
In 1933, Miss Connecticut, Marian Bergeron was the youngest winner (age- 15 ½ years) and held the title for 2 years.
The Miss America organization started the tradition of empowering women to accomplish their professional goals and personal dreams. It provides scholarships to young women. The first scholarship was presented to Bess Myerson. It benefits paying their college fee and to build their career.