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Lesser awards to finalists include swimwear and trophies by designer Annette Kellerman, a woman widely known for her scandalous 1907 arrest for indecent exposure.
While trying to popularize wearing a one-piece swimsuit with tights instead of the standard bloomers, Annette’s involvement raised many eyebrows. C.” for 1922 already selected, Margaret Gorman received a new title, “Miss America”.
The first pageant winner reflected these changes in attitude towards beauty. She also bore a striking resemblance to silent screen star Mary Pickford, who was just achieving fame as ‘America’s Sweetheart’.
Samuel Gompers, head of the American Federation of Labor, noted in the New York Times, “She (Margaret Gorman) represents the type of womanhood America needs; strong, red-blooded, able to shoulder the responsibilities of home-making and motherhood.
In 1928, the protestors won, and the pageant was discontinued as commercial supporters withdrew in response to accusations that the pageant lacked decorum.
1920s Timeline September 25th: Atlantic City businessmen stage a “Fall Frolic” in order to attract tourists to the seasonal resort beyond the traditional end of summer, Labor Day. Decisions were made to increase the number of scheduled public attractions and make it a two-day event the following year.
They competed against the winners of “professional” and “amateur” ranks, representing over two hundred women, for the elusive Golden Mermaid.
Riding on a wave of popularity from the previous day, Margaret Gorman won this event, too.
Miss America remains a role model to young and old alike.
At a newspaper circulation manager’s meeting in Philadelphia, nine East Coast newspapers decided to hold photographic “popularity contests” from among their readerships to increase their circulations.
Subsequent city finalists would be judged on personality and social graces during citywide summer events.
Jumping on the extra media attention the newspaper contests elicited, frolic organizers decided to include yet another event just for them: the “Inter-City Beauty” contest to be held September 7th.
It was judged on 50 percent audience applause and 50 percent judges’ decision after a day of mingling with the contestants, and a final appearance on stage.