Historical Pictures of Miss America Through the Years of the 20th Century

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Originating in 1921 as a “bathing beauty revue”, Miss America is a competition that is held annually and is open to women from the United States between the ages of 17 and 25. The contest is now judged on competitors’ talent performances and interviews.

Miss America travels about 20,000 miles a month, changing her location every 24 to 48 hours, touring the nation and promoting her particular platform of interest. The winner is crowned by the previous year’s titleholder.

These pictures that show a look at the pageant’s history through the year of the 20th century.

1921: Miss America.

Contestants in the first Miss America pageant in 1921 line up for the judges in Atlantic City in their swimwear attire.
(AP Photo/files)

1921: Miss America.

Margaret Gorman, of Washington, D.C., poses after winning the first Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., in Sept. 1921. (AP Photo)

1922: Miss America.

Mary Katherine Campbell, 15, holds the scepter as she poses in the regal robe and crown after becoming Miss America 1922 at the second Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., in Sept. 1922. Campbell, of Columbus, Ohio, won again in 1923, the only one to win twice. (AP Photo)

1926: Miss America.

Norma Smallwood, of Tulsa, Okla., poses in her bathing suit with trophies after becoming Miss America 1926 in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 11, 1926. (AP Photo)

1927: Miss America.

Lois Delander, of Joilet, Ill., poses on the throne wearing a robe and holding a scepter after being crowned Miss America 1927 at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., in Sept. 1927. (AP Photo)

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