#AtoZ 1968 – “M” is for Miss America

“You’re going to get a concept that maybe this really is one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people.” ~ Astronaut Frank Borman, on seeing the entire earth from outer space as he and the crew of the Apollo 8 returned from orbiting the moon.

Miss America

The contest to find Miss America 1969 was held in September 1968. The protest, also known as ‘No More Miss America!’ was attended by hundreds of feminists and civil rights advocates. The organizers of the protest set up a “Freedom Trash Can” on the Atlantic City boardwalk and tossed in such items as mops and brushes, pots and pans, high heels, curlers, and false eyelashes, as well as the restrictive undergarments so many women wore (girdles, corsets, and bras). They unfurled a large banner that read “Women’s Liberation” and that movement suddenly received worldwide attention.

The feminists marched with signs, passed out pamphlets, and crowned a live sheep. They decried its emphasis on an arbitrary standard of beauty.

Note: On the same day, and also in Atlantic City, African Americans and civil rights activists gathered to crown the first Miss Black America. The winner was nineteen-year-old Philadelphia native Saundra Williams, who had been active on the civil rights scene prior to the competition.

A to Z badge 2

BONUS MUSIC!

Here’s the #30 song from Billboard’s Year-End Top 100 Singles of 1968

“Those Were the Days” by Mary Hopkin

14 thoughts on “#AtoZ 1968 – “M” is for Miss America

  1. I can’t say for sure, but I’m sure there was some disappointed from the Black Community on that day. Maybe they were thinking: We finally “made it,” we have our own Miss America and now people are saying the pageant is a bad thing. Who knows??

  2. A bit of irony, wouldn’t you say. When you think you solve one problem another one just appears. I myself look forward to Miss America every year. I’m one of 4 girls, sisters no brothers. Every year we would all watch together and judge and see if any of us got it right. I don’t remember who won. I just remember having fun and eating snacks and each one of us got some kind of crown and waved and walked down the red carpet. Life’s more fun when it’s simple and you play … Great job on the AtoZChallenge Mz. Martha..

  3. When I hear about beauty pageants, I think about Amanda Jones, who was the 1973 winner of Miss USA and runner-up to Miss World. She was quite a character. I remember her, because she was from Evanston… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanda_Jones_(Miss_USA)

    Mary Hopkin, like Badfinger, was another early signing to Apple, and also sang a song written by Paul McCartney. (The Beatles did “Those Were The Days” on “Magical Mystery Tour.”)

  4. I think these fall under ‘to each his own’. Several women I admire paid for college with these contests. Shannon Breen, law degree, former clerk to Supreme Court Justice. Among others.

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