In just under a month, the 2017 Miss America Pageant will be held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Established in 1921, the Miss America Organization is the largest provider of scholarship assistance to young women in the United States. With our crown tassel, we proudly support the Miss America competition as a scholarship program for bright young women because it promotes the development of positive female role models in our society.
Whether you have watched the Miss America pageant in the past or not, here are ten things you may not know about this competition:
- Since 2007, Miss America contestants have raised over $13 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Miss America scholarships.
- The first Miss America pageant was held one year after the ratification of the 19th amendment, giving women in the United States the right to vote.
- With twenty-seven million Americans watching the first television broadcast of the Miss America pageant in 1954, the program broke viewing records as interest in television swept across the nation.
- Yolande Betbeze, Miss America 1951, refused to pose in a swimsuit, causing major sponsor Catalina Swimwear to withdraw their support and begin plans towards the “Miss Universe” pageant in 1952.
- In 1956, the style of the Miss America crown still used today was first worn by winner Sharon Kay Ritchie.
- The first woman with a disability to win the Miss America crown was Heather Whitestone, Miss America 1995, who had a profound hearing loss.
- In order to compete in the Miss America pageant, contestants have to meet character criteria, be available for the hefty time commitment required for the job, and serve many hours of community service.
- Gabby Douglas, who recently competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics for the United States Gymnastics team, will be one of the judges for the upcoming Miss America 2017 competition.
- The traditional “Show Us Your Shoes” Parade will be held on September 10th, one day before the Miss America Pageant competition. This parade is an opportunity for contestants to celebrate their home state spirit with custom costumes and footwear.
- You can cast your vote for America’s Choice in the 2017 competition here.
You can read more about the Miss America pageant here. We’ll be watching the competition on September 11th this year…will you?