They would become known as the Inter-City Beauties.
Each individual winner’s prize would be an all expense paid trip to Atlantic City’s Second Annual Fall Frolic as an honored guest.
Lesser awards to finalists include swimwear and trophies by designer Annette Kellerman, a woman widely known for her scandalous 1907 arrest for indecent exposure.
While trying to popularize wearing a one-piece swimsuit with tights instead of the standard bloomers, Annette’s involvement raised many eyebrows. C.” for 1922 already selected, Margaret Gorman received a new title, “Miss America”.
Jumping on the extra media attention the newspaper contests elicited, frolic organizers decided to include yet another event just for them: the “Inter-City Beauty” contest to be held September 7th.
It was judged on 50 percent audience applause and 50 percent judges’ decision after a day of mingling with the contestants, and a final appearance on stage.
In 1928, the protestors won, and the pageant was discontinued as commercial supporters withdrew in response to accusations that the pageant lacked decorum.
1920s Timeline September 25th: Atlantic City businessmen stage a “Fall Frolic” in order to attract tourists to the seasonal resort beyond the traditional end of summer, Labor Day. Decisions were made to increase the number of scheduled public attractions and make it a two-day event the following year.
Subsequent city finalists would be judged on personality and social graces during citywide summer events.Sixteen year-old Margaret Gorman, “Miss Washington, D.C.” (and a Mary Pickford look-a-like) would eventually win the Watkins Trophy in this event.By September 1922 she became known as “Miss America.” In the ensuing years it would grow and reflect some of the most powerfully held attitudes towards what it meant to be an ideal American woman. In the decades just prior to its creation, there was a marked transformation around women’s roles in society.The years from 1900 to 1920 were rich with expanding social, political and cultural activity for women.The first pageant winner reflected these changes in attitude towards beauty. She also bore a striking resemblance to silent screen star Mary Pickford, who was just achieving fame as ‘America’s Sweetheart’.