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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.
Each individual winner’s prize would be an all expense paid trip to Atlantic City’s Second Annual Fall Frolic as an honored guest.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”.Over the years, Miss America has continually made a difference in people’s lives through her charitable and community service endeavors, using her national platform to educate millions of Americans on important issues facing society.Miss America is more than a title, it’s a movement of empowering young women everywhere to achieve their dreams by giving them a voice to inspire change and by honoring their commitment to helping others.The event had become so big, results of the prize-winners were later aired nationwide via radio.
Although never before seen as a problem, concern arose over the fact that a leading contender for the “Miss” America title was a married woman.
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.
Sixteen year-old Margaret Gorman, “Miss Washington, D.
C.” (and a Mary Pickford look-a-like) would eventually win the Watkins Trophy in this event.
It is in her type that the hope of the country resides.” Despite the best efforts of the pageant officials, the pageant gained a reputation for being a little risqué.