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December 15, 2014

Pictures of America Beauty Pageants since the 1920s

The crowning of Miss America dates all the way back to 1921, and although the competition has evolved over the decades, one thing remains the same - each year a gorgeous and smiling Miss America is crowned. Check out the lucky ladies who've held the prestigious title through the years...

Here's the 1923 pageant crowned Mary Katherine Campbell Miss America for the second year in a row. Campbell is joined by (l.-r.) pageant director Mr. Nichol, King Neptune and the first Miss America, Margaret Gorman in Atlantic City, NJ.

Miss America 1922, Margaret Gorman. There she is, the very first Miss America! Margaret Gorman dons her best Americana garb on Sept. 6, 1922 in Atlantic City, N.J.

Miss America 1947, 1940. Even back in the 1940s, Miss America beauties weren't afraid to show a little skin. Along with their crowns, these winners also donned capes and were given wands and trophies. Barbara Jo Walker (l.) was crowned Miss America 1947 and France Burke was named Miss America 1940 (r.).

First Miss America pageant, 1921. These bathing beauties lined up for the judges on the Atlantic City boardwalk in September 1921 during the very first Miss America pageant.

Miss America 1923, Mary Katherine Campbell, sits on her throne as she attends the Rolling Chair Parade in Atlantic City. Miss America clutches her shiny crown as she greets the crowds.

King Neptune, an old school Miss America staple, crowns Miss Philadelphia Ruth Malcolmson Miss America 1924.

At just 15-years-old, Marian Bergeron from Connecticut was crowned Miss America 1933.

All of these bikini-clad beauties were vying for the Miss America crown in 1938.

Miss California, Marilyn Buferd (l.), would beat out these ladies and the rest of the competition to become Miss America 1946.

If the crown fits... Bess Myerson, Miss America 1945, crowns Marilyn Buferd Miss America 1946.

Miss Colorado Sharon Ritchie, then 18-years-old, was crowned Miss America 1956. She was the first Miss America invited to tour Europe by Philco International. Here, Miss America is greeted with roses after returning from Europe (l.).

Miss America 1956, Sharon Kay Ritchie. She waves to her fans at the "Salute to Israel" rally at Yankee Stadium on April 29, 1956.

Miss America contestants, 1962. Of all these contestants, Miss Ohio Jacquelyn Mayer would win the title of Miss America 1963.

Bert Parks is one lucky man! The Miss America emcee is flanked by two beauty queens, 1958 Miss America Marilyn Van Derbur (l.) and 1963 Miss America Jacquelyn Mayer (r.).

Vanessa Williams (r.) won Miss America 1984, becoming the first African American to win the title. But she resigned her title 10 months into serving when she got caught up in a naked photo scandal. The two women on the left competed in 1978, the pageant which saw Susan Perkins of Ohio crowned Miss America.

Born in Paraguay, Sharlene Wells is the only foreign-born Miss America in the history of the pageant. Wells was crowned Miss America 1985.

Miss America 1988, Kaye Lani Rae Rafko of Michigan, takes a ride behind the wheel of her Corvette, complete with her crown.

Gretchen Carlson, crowned Miss America 1989, gets a hug from Mike Tyson.

Here, Miss America 1988, Kaye Lani Rae Rafko, flaunts her bikini body on the runway and Miss America 1990, Debbye Turner, takes a spin on an exercise bike.

After being crowned Miss America 1990, Miss Missouri Debbye Turner poses with the gorgeous runners up.

(via NY Daily News)


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