Miss USA is one of the longest-running events in the history of the modern United States. Thankfully, the event will still push through as originally scheduled on the night of July 12 at the Baton Rouge River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
So, since it will be entering its 64th year this weekend, an event like this should be beholden to traditions that were set by its predecessors. And in the spirit of it all, we’re deciding to include some interesting facts about Miss USA that you may not have even realized existed at all in the first place! Here are some of them below:
- It started as a way to rein in gamblers
Yep, as unfortunate as the pageant’s origins may have been, it still has to be stated: Miss USA started simply because the casino bigwigs at Atlantic City were desperately trying to find a way to keep tourists in even when the summer seasons were beginning to wane. They then thought up of doping so by presenting a bevy of beautiful girls who they pitted in a beauty contest called Fall Frolic in 1920. At the next year, it became the ‘Inter-City Beauty Contest’. By 1922, the organizers simply decided to call it Miss America because… well, they just felt like doing so! You can actually trace a line from Miss America to Miss USA because of this one revolutionary action done by a single young woman…
- Miss USA was created out of an act of protest
1952 was a landmark year for Miss USA, and it was because of the
fact that this was the first year it was founded. How so? Well, its 1951 winner, Yolande Betbeze, was encouraged to wear the swimwear of one of the pageant’s sponsors, which was Catalina swimwear. Stating she’s a “singer, not a pin-up (model)”, she then went on to create her own pageant the year later, which then turned out to be the Miss USA event we now know.
- 1990 and 2010 were landmark events for Miss USA
And with good reason, too: those were the years when ethnic minorities first ascended the Miss USA crown, with the first African-American winner being declared in 1990 while the 2010 winner is a woman of Middle Eastern descent. See, Miss USA is well-known for being a progressively-minded event, too!
So, do you have any other facts about Miss USA you can share with us? Well, you can do so in the comments section below!