Happy Birthday, Miss America!

Happy Birthday, Miss America! Iconic Organization Reaches 99th Anniversary

NEW YORK, NY (September 8, 2020) –  The Miss America Organization celebrates 99 years since its inception on the Boardwalk of Atlantic City in 1921. 

The “Atlantic City’s Inter-City Beauty Contest,”  known as the first Miss America Pageant, was started by local businessmen in an effort to extend the shore tourism season past Labor Day. On September 8, 1921, sixteen-year-old Margaret Gorman was crowned the “Golden Mermaid.” It wasn’t until 1922 that the Boardwalk contest formally became “Miss America!”  

Over her 99 years, Miss America has grown from a bathing beauties pageant to one of the nation’s leading women’s empowerment organization. Miss America women have gone on to become household names, corporate executives, politicians, educators, doctors, lawyers, and more. 

Today, the Miss America Organization is a nationally recognized non-profit and serves as one of the largest providers of scholarship assistance to young women in the world. The mission to prepare great women for the world and prepare the world for great women comes to fruition through the thousands of young women across America working to better their communities through service and scholarship.

“It is truly remarkable to see the Miss America Organization into its 100th year,”  said Shantel Krebs, interim CEO and Board Chair. “Miss America is one of our nation’s most cherished traditions and as we work toward our centennial celebration,  we encourage America to stay tuned.  We have a lot of excitement in store for 2021!”

Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier was crowned live on NBC from Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut in December of 2019, earning $77,000  in scholarship assistance to continue her education. An honors graduate of Virginia Tech with dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Biochemistry and Systems Biology, Schrier will continue pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Due to COVID-19, the competition scheduled for 2020 was postponed until 2021. The Miss America Organization will announce the 100th Anniversary competition date and location in the coming months. 

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 The Miss America Organization, a 501(c)4 works to empower young women through education and service. Miss America candidates contribute tens of thousands of community service hours annually and have raised over $20 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Miss America scholarships since 2007. The Miss America Foundation, a 501(c)3, provides educational scholarships to young women.