Atlantic City Miss America Pageant

The Miss America Pageant was started in 1921 to extend the Atlantic City summer season for business purposes. That is why it was held in the week following Labor Day. The Pageant was held in Atlantic City until 2005, after which it was moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2013 it returned to Atlantic City.

The Miss America pageant will not be taking place in Atlantic City this year (2019). The 2020 Miss America Pageant will be aired live on NBC on Dec. 19 from 8 to 10 PM from the Mohegan Sun Arena and Casino in Uncasville Conn.

A Miss America boardwalk parade, featuring some Miss America contestants, will take place starting at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Saturday September 7th, 2019 at 5 PM.

Miss America Pageant

Miss America Pageant

The Miss America Pageant is back in Atlantic City.

Miss America

In 2018 Nia Imani Franklin, from New York, was crowned Miss America 2019 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

Some scenes from past Miss America Pageants are shown below.

  Miss America - 1921

Miss America 1921

The winner of the first Pageant
was Margaret Gorman.

Photo credit:
Smithsonian Magazine

 Miss America - 2005

Miss America 2005

Deidre Downs.

Photo credit:
Miss America Pageant

Miss America Postcard - 1926

Miss America Postcard

Postcard by P. Sander - from the collection of Thomas Topham.

Miss America Invites You to Atlantic City

Miss America Parade on the Atlantic City Boardwalk

Atlantic City Boardwalk

Postcard by Joseph & John Polillo - from the collection of Thomas Topham.

One of the most popular events of the Pageant was a parade on the Boardwalk.

1953 Miss America Pageant Swimsuit Competition

1953 Miss America Swimsuit Competition

Miss America Float on the Boardwalk - 1962

Miss America Float on Atlantic City Boardwalk

Postcard by Jack Freeman - from the collection of Thomas Topham.

Miss America Float on the Atlantic City boardwalk.

Miss America Pageant

Miss America Pageant Contestants

Postcard by Jack Freeman - from the collection of Thomas Topham.

Miss America Pageant contestants on stage.

Bert Parks

Bert Parks

Bert Parks shown with Miss Ohio and Miss Texas in 1962.

Bert Parks was the longtime Master of Ceremonies for the annual Miss America Beauty Pageant. He sang the theme song, "There She Is," at the end of the show. He was fired in 1980 by producers who wanted a younger image for the Pageant.

A history of the Miss America Beauty Pageant in Atlantic City is available from the following book.

MISS America Book

You can purchase this book

Live From Atlantic City - A History of the
Miss America Pageant by A.R. Riverol - 1992

The book, "Live from Atlantic City" traces the Pageant's history from its birth as a pseudo-event in 1921 through its emergence as an American popular culture icon.

Although millions watched the Pageant on television each year, "Live from Atlantic City" proposes that the Pageant was more than just a television show. Long before, after, and, some might argue, in spite of, television coverage, a carnival of beauty ran riot on Atlantic City's famous Boardwalk. With or without the cameras, bevies of sea nymphs, beach peaches, and coeds have paraded up and down runways hoping to win a slice of the American Dream.

"Live from Atlantic City" takes the reader to times
and places where no television camera has focused. Drawing upon (and sometimes debating with) primary and secondary sources, the author paints a vivid picture of life in Atlantic City during Pageant Week.

Boardwalk Hall

 Boardwalk Hall

Boardwalk Hall

The Miss America Pageant was held at Boardwalk Hall, from the hall's opening in 2001, until the pageant moved to Las Vegas. Now that the pageant has moved back to Atlantic City it is again held at Boardwalk Hall.

Miss America Way/Convention Boulevard

The Miss America Pageant had been held in Atlantic City continuously since 1921. In 2006, the Pageant moved to Las Vegas following a dispute over local funding and network television coverage. The pageant had been remembered in Atlantic City via "Miss America Way," the name of a block long section of road between the Sheraton Hotel and the Atlantic City Convention Center. In 2008, this road was renamed "Convention Boulevard."

To see Miss America memorabilia items on eBay follow this Link: Miss America on eBay


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Atlantic City Books