The Philadelphia Inquirer Newspapers - September 1933
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The Atlantic City newspapers and the Philadelphia newspapers were the only ones found so far that detail the daily happenings of the Miss America 1933 Pageant. The Atlantic City papers have a lot of scheduling information, so that the tourists who came for the Pageant will know how to plan and where to be and when. They also summarize the prior day's events. The Philadelphia Inquirer actually has more pictures, and different ones, from the Atlantic City Press, and more gossip about the Pageant!
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Philadelphia Inquirer -- Day 1: Tues., Sep. 5, 1933
Beauties of Nation Gather in Pageant
Atlantic City Welcomes Them Today; Phila. Girl is Contestant
Special to The Inquirer.
ATLANTIC CITY, Sept. 4.
The Atlantic City pageant, famous tournament of pulchritude, opens tomorrow with "Miss Pennsylvania" in the person of Geraldine Glassman, of 4954 Rising Sun ave., Philadelphia, competing against the cream of the Nation's beauty crop for the crown of "Miss America 1933."
Miss Glassman, 18-year-old Olney High School graduate, who first won the title of "Miss Philadelphia" and later annexed the State crown, will join the girls from 28 other State, the District of Columbia and New York City at Broad Street Station at 11.55 A. M., daylight saving time.
There the queens of charm and grace will be greeted by Armand T. Nichols, director general of the pageant, and Miss Ethel Rattay, head of the women's reception committee, and will board the American Beauty special for the shore.
Eighth Beauty Tournament
The girls will arrive here at the Pennsylvania Railroad station at 1.10 P. M. officially opening the eighth edition of the beauty tournament, being revived after a lapse of five years. Even inclement weather cannot interfere with the five-day program as all the main events will be held in the Convention Hall, the largest in the world.
Here to vie for the title of the Nation's most beautiful bathing girl, last won by Miss Lois Eleanor Delander, of Joliet, Ill., in 1927, the visiting maids will be met at the station by a cavalcade of motor cars and bands. The procession will be driven down Atlantic ave. to Albany ave., circle the monument there, up Atlantic to New Jersey ave. and over to Pacific. The parade will continue down Pacific avenue to Arkansas, where the cars will turn up onto the boardwalk.
Welcome By Commission
Proceeding down the famous promenade the parade will terminate in front of the Convention Hall, where the visiting beauties will be welcomed to the "World's Playground," by Mayor Harry Bacharach and members of the City Commission.
After preliminary courtesies the girls will be whisked away to the Ritz-Carlton, where "beauty headquarters" have been established. Twenty suites on the seventeenth floor of the palatial hostelry have been set aside as quarters for the "Royal" party for the balance of the week. Here they will have an opportunity to rest and unpack their luggage preparatory to the evening's festivities.
At night they will motor to the Gateway Casino, Somers Point, where they will be guests at a dinner along with the visiting newspapermen.
This event starts at 8.30 when each contestant will be introduced from the stage.
Represent Many States
This collection of pretty blondes, brunettes and a few redheads come here as representatives of Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York State, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, the District of Columbia and New York City.
They were selected in local eliminations to come here to compete for the coveted title of "Miss America, 1933," which will be awarded at elaborate coronation ceremonies in the main hall of the municipal auditorium next Saturday night.
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Philadelphia Inquirer -- Day 2: Wed., Sep. 6, 1933
Miss America-to-be Sniffs Sea Air and Goes to Sleep
by George M. Mawhinney
Atlantic City, Sept. 5
"Miss America" sniffed her first official breath of salty pageant air today, and the big show in which she is star performer was off.
The train wheels rattled, the big limousines purred over the Boardwalk, the banners waved in the ocean breeze, the bands played, and "Miss America" showed her pretty teeth for the first time since 1927.
Nobody knows just what her name is -- for that is not to be decided until Saturday night -- but, surrounded by 29 other girls who also lay claim to this beauty crown, she nevertheless smiled in confidence at reasonably large post-Labor Day crowds at this seashore resort.
And with that smile the Atlantic City National Beauty Pageant was begun.
The formalities of the beginning were brief. The day was one of arrangements and preparations.
The beauties -- a blonde or two, one lonely red-head, and a representative gathering of brunette types -- spent most of the later part of the afternoon getting beauty sleep.
Among the beauty sleepers, was of course, Miss Geraldine Glassman, 17-year-old Philadelphia girl, who in her best possible brunette fashion was making ready to plunge into the fray for good old Pennsylvania.
The pageant, revived from out of the past that is but a memory -- a recollection of a day different, alas, from this one of indifferently shrugged shoulders and nudist colonies -- was officially given its send-off by Mayor Harry Bacharach.
Big Scene on Boardwalk
The big scene of the afternoon was staged in front of the Convention Hall, out in the open air on the Boardwalk, when the Mayor, in the presence of about 3000 persons, presented the key to the city to Miss Blanche McDonald, 21-year-id blonde (not platinum) who hails from Hollywood and represents the bigger and better-than-ever State of California.
Some of the beauties looked a trifle disappointed over the procedure, but they managed to regain their composure when it was explained that "Miss California" got the big honors merely because she journeyed the farthest distance to see the Atlantic Ocean for her first time.
Anyway, it was explained, the key while nice and large, was gilt not gold; they're made by the bushel and everybody will eventually get one.
After that came the somnolent late afternoon and the big event of the evening at which the girls got the first taste of all those things they've longed for, and for which they entered their local beauty contests in the beginning.
Feted at Dinner
The event was a get-together dinner at the Gateway Casino, Somers Point, where nearly 1000 persons crowded around the lucky girls, each hanging on the arm of a nattily uniformed member of the Morris Guards, Atlantic City's most historic military unit.
Official Atlantic City was on hand with adulation and each and every one of the beauties, representing 28 States, New York City and the District of Columbia, was presented under the spotlight on a stage by Norman Brokenshire.
But to get back to the beginning of things.
Before any official procedure whatever was indulged in the pageant really started in Philadelphia at 11.55 A. M.
There the beauties, clad mostly in the snappiest of sports creations, gathered in Broad Street Station, and boarded the American Beauty Special, under the kindly ministrations of Armand T. Nichols, director general of the pageant, and Miss Ethel Rattay, head of the women's reception committee.
Chaperones Go Along
The group that boarded the special, two cars hooked up on the end of a regular train, included the girls, about one chaperone for each five, friends, managers, promoters, publicity men, et al.
They all arrived in this place at 1.20 P. M. and were met by Dr. David B. Allman, chairman of the board of directors of the pageant; about 3000 townsfolks and vacationists, and, eventually, three bands.
Twenty automobiles, labeled with appropriate banners, carried them up and down Atlantic ave., the main stem, and thence down Pennsylvania ave. to the Boardwalk.
The automobiles mounted the boards for the first time since the last pageant, back in the good old days when the talk of the town was prosperity, instead of NRA.
The girls were having, apparently, a wonderful time.
Miss Pennsylvania, who kissed goodbye temporarily to the old homestead at 4954 Rising Sun ave., was neatly clad in a burnt orange wool sports dress, trimmed with brown silk, and hat and shoes and stockings to match.
She did have stockings. A half dozen of the girls affected the stockingless fad, but all steered clear of leg-lacquer.
A Key for Miss California
In front of the Convention Hall his honor, the Mayor, went into action with the gilded key to the city for Miss California, and a few kind words.
"This," said he, "is not the key to New York City, but it is just as good a key. I hope you all win."
After that the City Commissioners went into a program of enthusiastic handshaking. The handshakers included Director of Safety William S. Cuthbert; Director of Finance, Joseph Paxon; Director of Parks and Public Properties, Louis Kuehnle, and Director of Highways, Robert Warke.
After that the photographers got busier than the city commissioners.
After that the girls retired to their 20 suites in the Ritz Carlton, with their maids and hairdressers.
After that the first formal appearance at night party.
After that -- well, the pageant goes on tomorrow with preliminary judging of the beauties this morning.
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Philadelphia Inquirer -- Day 3: Thur., Sep. 7, 1933
Officials Defend Pageant at Shore as 'On the Level'
By George M. Mawhinney
Atlantic City, N. J., Sept. 6
"It's all on the level and it's a clean, straight, good show."
That was the cry raised by officials of the Atlantic City National Beauty Pageant today, as rumblings and mutterings of discontent came from way down under.
The pageant features progressed normally with the 30 beauties, representing 28 States, New York City and the District of Columbia, tasting the thrills of pageant excitement which will by Saturday, lead one of them to the throne of "Miss America."
But it developed that there are some people in Atlantic City who do not just exactly approve of the pageant.
Pageant officials say these are in the minority.
No Names Mentioned
After the disapprovers -- no names mentioned -- got through with telling how they disagree with the beauty pageant idea, Dr. David B. Allman, chairman of the board of pageant directors, came out with the true, true story about it.
Dr. Allman spoke solemnly as the pageant was swinging into its second day, with the preliminary judging of the beauties, a professional fashion show, and tonight the big American beauty ball in the Municipal Convention Hall.
In the beginning, so said Dr. Allman, there was sufficient opposition among members of the Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce to prevent that body from officially indorsing the pageant.
However, continued Dr. Allman, right now not only the "avenue" hotels, but also the big ones on the Boardwalk, which were at first reported to be dissenting, are getting to like the pageant -- the first one of its kind in six years.
Not only that, but Armand T. Nichols, director general of the pageant, hastened to announce that a board of seven absolutely impartial judges will be chosen to select the winner, and that all the profits -- if any -- will go to the Betty Bacharach Home for Crippled Children in this place.
Judges selected up to yesterday included Russell Patterson, an illustrator of considerable following; George Beucher, a New York artist; Peter Arno, satirical cartoonist; George White, of Broadway show fame; and Gladys Glad, dazzling blonde Follies beauty.
Two more remain to be chosen -- and these, it was promised, will be persons of uncontestable integrity.
The five -- that is, all except Mr. White, the impresario -- cast their eyes over the girls for the first time this morning, and did the girls get the jitters!
It all happened more or less in private on the stage in the Convention Hall.
Perhaps a half-hundred persons were present to get the first glimmering of what the beauties look like in their backless bathing suits.
Twenty-eight of the young ladies -- two of them, Iva Stewart, representing Maine, and Leita Laughley, who is upholding honors for New Hampshire, being absent because of illness -- walked around a chalked circle and then walked a straight line the length of the stage.
It was all something like tests they give doubtful automobile drivers in police stations.
The girls were rated on a point basis for poise, personality, carriage and figure, and the points may or may not be used against them in the future.
High-heeled shoes made walking that circle exceedingly difficult.
In the entire ensemble two rubber bathing suits made their appearances. Miss Vermont and Miss Wisconsin essayed them. Seventeen-year-old Geraldine Glassman, "Miss Philadelphia," performed in a simple yellow swim suit.
"Miss Atlantic City," otherwise known as Ruth Leroye while not competing, nevertheless participated, all dressed in white. Miss Barbara Strand, battling for Michigan, and Miss Victoria George, from Delaware, turned out to be the only couple with really good coats of sun tan.
Sh-h-h-h-! Here's a secret. Dorothy Dennis, playing the part of "Miss Maryland," and Mildred Fetty, who is "Miss West Virginia," are vaccinated each on the left arm.
So the procession moved, the girls obviously worried over the judges' searching eyes. Through it all Gladys Glad, once proclaimed as the most beautiful of all show girls -- by Mr. Ziegfeld -- did her best to live up to her reputation. She was clad in a green crepe, woolen coat suit, long brown suede gloves, brown velvet hat, brown shoes and stockings. That green suit had a corsage, or something, or two huge brown velvet chrysanthemums.
During this afternoon the beauties were guests of a local theatre at a motion picture. They reached the day's big thrill tonight, when they came to the ball, adequately escorted, and danced to their hearts' content after they had witnessed the fashiuon show.
The show was put on with professional talent under the direction of Stanley Moore, gown designer; Billy Arnold, entrepreneur in theatrical productions, and the latter's assistant, Noel Sherman.
Tomorrow holds forth promise of much exciting adventures, offering as it does not only the bathing revue, in which will parade both the amateur and professional talent, but the contest in which will be selected the most beautiful girl in an evening gown.
|Original photograph of the 1933 New England contestants (reverse side).|
Some of the aspirants for the title of "Miss America," photographed last night during brief intermissions of the American Beauty Ball -- a feature of the beauty pageant at Atlantic City -- are shown above. In the group at the upper left are, left to right, the beauties representing four of the New England States -- Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts [Note: the original of this picture was posted for sale on ebay in 2016 -- see photo at right. Other originals may be found.]. At the upper right is Miss Geraldine Glassman, 17-year-old Philadelphia girl representing this Commonwealth. Below, at the right, is Miss Missouri, with Miss Connecticut at the left.
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Philadelphia Inquirer -- Day 4: Fri., Sep. 8, 1933
Beauty Faints, Wins Prize; Pageant in Grip of Fight
By George M. Mawhinney
Atlantic City, N. J., Sept. 7
"Miss New York State," who is none other than Flo Meyer, 18-year-old beauty of East Rockaway, L. I. can consider herself a good trooper.
One of the 30 beauties of the country who are seeking the title of "Miss America" in the 1933 version of the Atlantic City Beauty Pageant, Miss Meyer collapsed from excitement and strain this afternoon while parading before the judges attired in a bathing suit.
But the New York State entrant had had her hair waved especially for that beauty crown and she refused to give up.
Tonight, after a few hours of rest, she came back into the lists in all her radiant brunette glory to be judged the most attractive, charming and graceful in the evening dress judgings at Convention Hall.
Showing no ill effects from her collapse of the afternoon, "Miss New York State," with proud carriage and extreme poise, paraded before the judges attired in a white satin evening gown slashed by a hyacinth sash. Her 29 competitors paraded too.
After preliminary judging that number was cut down to 15, then to ten. And "Miss Pennsylvania," Geraldine Glassman of Philadelphia, was one of the ten.
But in the final judging, Miss Glassman lost out. Miss Meyer was selected as the winner in the evening gown contest. "Miss New Jersey," Miss Gertrude Christman, 17, in a black satin gown with white trimmings, was second choice. Third place went to "Miss California," Miss Blanche McDonald, of Hollywood.
And while this judging was going on, under-cover rumblings of discontent and protest continued because of the disqualification of three of the beauties.
Three of the 30 contestants were ordered eliminated by pageant authorities from all opportunity of becoming Miss America, and all three of them immediately announced that they will protest the order.
The fight -- which has been brewing below the surface for some time -- broke out into public view today, just as two of the pageant's biggest events were being staged -- the bathers' revue and the contest for the most beautiful girl in evening gown.
The ladies under fire, themselves, all stepped out into the fray, each with both fists going, after -- and not until after -- they had participated in the day's events, literally "dancing with tears in their eyes," but with smiles on their faces.
After the pageant authorities had announced they considered it wiser not to name the girls, in order that all concerned might have a pleasant time for the duration of the pageant, the girls themselves announced their names.
They are "Miss Idaho," otherwise known as Margaret Wittman, 19, a brunette; "Miss Iowa," who gives her right name as Eleanor Dankenbring, her age as 18, and her general coloring as blondish, and "Miss Illinois," the also blondish Lillian Kroener, 19.
After they had been disqualified by the pageant directors, on charges that two of them had been selected from photographs, and that the third was not a resident of the State from which she was chosen, the girls stepped right up and asserted that formal complaint for the purpose of fighting the charges will be filed with the directors this morning.
More than that, all three complained that "a certain Eastern promoter" is responsible for all the trouble, and is falsely accusing them. For instance, "Miss Idaho" and "Miss Iowa" admit they were selected in a contest in which they submitted their photographs and not their persons. But what, say they, difference does that make. There's no rule against that, you know.
Coercion Is Charged.
"Miss Illinois" insists that she has lived in the State for which she is temporarily named for more than a year. She charges too that certain persons virtually "forced" her to sign a statement to the effect that she hadn't lived in Illinois. That is her story, anyway.
As to who -- exactly who -- are the real participants in the fight, no names have yet been mentioned -- aloud!
Of course, it is all quite a shame that somebody had to begin fighting just as the pageant was moving along nicely -- for today's event attracted lusty crowds and created sensations.
18 Girls Singled Out
In the morning, for instance, the beauties got together with the judges and others for preliminary judging, and during it, according to announcement, eighteen girls were selected as the rating aspirants. Their names were not disclosed.
"Miss America" will come from among them.
The session got off to a bad start, and developed one high thrill.
The bad start was caused by the late arrival on the scene of Gladys Glad, dazzling former Follies beauty and one of the judges. Gladys, somehow, was back at her hotel, waiting for some one to call her when the judging was ready to start. Unfortunately, the person charged with the burden of warning her of the time forgot his job completely.
Once the morning's portion of the show was under way the high thrill came.
"Miss New York State," one of the high-ranking brunettes of the show, fainted dead away before the eyes of the judges. They carried her out and back to the hotel, where a dentist repaired her troubles.
The cause of the collapse, it was explained, was that "Miss New York State" several days ago had a tooth removed. In the cavity was placed packing and medicine to aboid infection, but trouble developed nevertheless and Flo Myer -- that's her right name -- tried to go right on with the show. That's all.
6000 See Judging
Late today it was announced that her trouble was corrected, and that she was ready for the remainder of the pageant.
The bathers revue stirred the afternoon up for perhaps 6000 persons who otherwise would have been tramping the Boardwalk.
For -- although in past years this event was held on the Boardwalk and beach -- this year it was held inside the Convention Hall.
The trouble, it was announced, was that somebody discovered an Atlantic City law which forbids stands to be erected on the Boardwalk. And with no stands, according to the pageant authorities, the event couldn't possibly amount to much.
The 6000, while a goodly enough crowd, nevertheless looked lonely in the broad reaches of the hall's immense main auditorium where from time to time football games have been held.
The beauties, accompanied by bands, and by other -- professional -- beauties paraded through especially arranged lanes in a spectacle which at any rate, satisfied the cash customers. The judges sat in judgment, and by the end of the afternoon selected winners from among the professional beauties.
The "amateurs" got nothing out of the event but glory.
The title of "Miss Golden Mermaid" was won by Harriet Myrne, a blonde from a New York restaurant. Anne Ackerman, red head from the Club Babbette, came second, and Lynn Swanson, from Showboat, was third.
Nine beauties neither professional nor contestants entered themselves in the competition and Gwen Croyle, of this place, achieved first place in this division. Daphne Hunter, of Oklahoma City, came second. The comic division, which was small, was won by Mrs. Ida Vanderslice, of 5145 Chestnut st., Philadelphia.
Beauty Pageant Contestants In Bathers' Revue.
Top row, left to right: Gertrude Christman, New Jersey; Leita Laugley, New Hampshire; Elsie Taylor, Massachusetts, and Evangeline Glidwell, Virginia, standing on their floats; Margaret Wittman, Idaho; Eleanor Dankenbring, Iowa, and Marion Bergeron, Connecticut. Lower row, left to right: Geraldine Glassman, Pennsylvania; Barbara Strand, Michigan; Rita Burns, District of Columbia; Marjorie Hogler, Louisiana, and Mildred Fetty, West Virginia.
Swoons -- Then Wins.
After fainting in the morning during the initial judging in the Atlantic City Beauty Pageant, Miss New York State --- Miss Florence Myers, 19-year-old brunette, of East Rockaway, L. I. -- staged a game come-back last night to carry off first honors in the event for finest carriage and poise in evening gown. The tension and excitement of the event caused her collapse in the morning.
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Philadelphia Inquirer -- Day 5: Sat., Sep. 9, 1933
25,000 Applaud Beauties In Shore Chair Parade
By George M. Mawhinney
Atlantic City, Sept. 8
Some of the ancient glory of beauty pageantry was reincarnated here today when more than 25,000 persons trod on each other's feet in an effort to see the contestants from whom will be chosen Miss America tomorrow night.
The event which brought the throngs, some sighing, some cheering, up on their heels, was this year's version of the famous rolling chair parade of the beauties.
Nearly 15,000 persons thronged into the Convention Hall and saw their favorite -- or favorites-- from seats on paid admissions.
The remainder viewed them as they trundled down the Boardwalk, gaily bedecked and smiling, after the show.
For the moment the contention and bickering which has produced multitudinous headaches for Armand T. Nichols, pageant director, was forgotten.
At least it was temporarily forgotten by the majority of those involved.
Challenged Beauties Applauded
The three beauties -- Miss Illinois, Miss Iowa and Miss Idaho -- who have been challenged concerning their right to appear as contestants, came out with the remainder of their sisters in all the day's events. There was a disposition among the multitude who saw them pass in parade to applaud them.
Fervor such as had not been witnessed on the Boardwalk since the last pageant, six years ago, arose. Necks were stretched almost to the breaking point.
Women jostled men, and vice versa.
In one section for many blocks the Boardwalk became virtually impassable -- save for vigilant police as they cleared the way for the rolling chairs and the beauties.
After that had passed the night raced on with another fashion show and the "Night of Merriment," a stage and floor entertainment feature which was described by the hometown folks as the "Mardi Gras of the Pageant."
Nearly a score of complimentary floats and features -- mostly advertising -- and four bands accompanied the beauties on their first really thrilling voyage among this resort's swirling sea of humanity.
The music echoed and re-echoed down into the emotions of virtually every spectator, some of whom were critical, but the majority of whom gave every evidence of enthusiasm.
Show Is On
The show, one of the biggest of the pageant, got off to its start with the Atlantic City police band and Director General Nichols, holding his head high and wearing a grin so broad that there could be no doubt that the "gate" was satisfactory.
Then other directors and Miss Atlantic City.
And the show was finally on.
Miss Washington, dark and mysterious, led off the procession. Then Miss New Jersey State and Miss Maine, Miss Mississippi, who wore a powder-blue sports suit and a wide-brimmed white hat. Miss Vermont, then the mail carriers' band, produced by the National Association of Letter Carriers, in convention here.
Blonde Miss California, who has excited ohs and ahs throughout the pageant, made her bow, and Miss New Mexico, that petite Espanola, smiled her way through. Miss Ohio.
Then Pennsylvania's pride and joy, 17-year-old Miss Geraldine Glassman, in a brown sports ensemble.
Miss Iowa and applause -- perhaps a little more than some of the others got! Miss Kansas! Miss Michigan! And another band!
Miss District of Columbia shattered more than a few masculine hearts with kisses scattered from her fingertips. Miss Louisiana produced one of the most charming effects in a gray sports suit. Miss Illinois was pushed among the throng a black creation of startling effect. Then Miss New Jersey, Miss New York City, in white, and still another band.
Then they moved by in rapid succession. Miss North Carolina and Miss Virginia. Miss Missouri, Miss Wisconsin, Miss Maryland, Miss Idaho, Miss Massachusetts, Miss Arkansas. Dark, sloe-eyed, Miss Delaware. Miss Kentucky, another letter carriers' band, and finally Miss N. A. L. C., choice of the letter carriers.
Miss West Virginia Falters
Among them all but one alone was not in the parade. She was Miss West Virginia. Through one of those freaks of fortune she was back in her hotel room under the care of a physician.
Earlier in the day when the pageant's judges held another session of preliminary judging, she faltered, and it was found necessary to take her to her room. It was said later that she had appeared for the judging against the advice of her physician.
Another minor catastrophe of the pageant was when Miss New Jersey went to dinner and ate lobster and ice cream. The result, by all report, was something that she will write home about. Medical treatment, however, put her in condition by the time the rolling chair parade came.
For the remainder of the show the floats were contributed by business houses, hotels, national advertisers, railroads and even private individuals. The parade came to an end with Director General Nichols taking a bow -- to applause.
The contest was judged for prize winners by C. M. Koury, Mayor Charles E. Jackson of Pleasantville, State Senator William H. Albright, John Henry Mears, Mrs. N. Kates and L. Philbin.
Throughout the afternoon and evening excitement ran high and there was general endeavor to make the several functions of those hours a complete success.
Not, of course, that everybody participated.
It was told, for instance, that Miss Delaware's sponsor was punched some place very close to the nose by a pageant official in a mysterious quarrel.
Selections Under Probe
Because of fighting which has been disturbing the peaceful way of the convention, particularly in connection with Miss Idaho, Miss Iowa and Miss Illinois, and because of a somewhat common report that one person or another, each following his own individual interests, has from time to time complained about at least nine of the entrants, Director Nichols announced today that the method of selecting every one of the girls is being investigated.
Each of the girls, he said, will be acquainted with all of the rules of the Atlantic City Beauty Pageant, and each will be requested to sign a statement to the effect that she is properly entered -- if such is the case.
In the meantime telegrams are being sent [to] Mayors of all cities in which divisional contests were held, requesting their co-operation in establishing the full facts of the case.
Rumors continued to circulate that much of the trouble has been started because of differences of opinion among two theatrical representatives, who wish to contract whoever is Miss America, as to how the judging should be held. Both men, however, deny this is the case.
Thus, with something like peace -- temporary peace, at least -- established, the day's events and the night's merriment was unrestrained.
Three I League at Beauty Pageant
Idaho, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa are an alliterative group of States which have left their indelible mark on history. Time was when the Three I League was an interesting factor in minor circuit baseball before the recent fall on evil days. Then, indeed, the fans might say: "The I's have IT." In politics, too the same States were noted for individuality and for putting obstacles in front of the steam roller. Senator Borah, Senator Brookhart and possibly a few others from Iowa have often stood almost alone in their solitude of opposition to shout "No!" when the presiding officer tried to declare "The ayes have it." But last fall the whole quartet of the pependicular and egotistic initial forsook their Republican moorings to join the Roosevelt parade and evidently also to clamber aboard the Repeal band wagon.
When men thus desert their tradition, the women, thank Heaven, are still loyal to their duty. Feminism does not join the ballyhoo of the mob. Idaho, Illinois and Iowa may falter in baseball or statesmanship, but in the realm where beauty reigns supreme the fair representatives of those Western communities are still ready to martyr themselves against submergence in the common lot. They care not if they are read out of the league or out of the party; they court it. And when the officials of the Atlantic City contest tried to keep secret the names of the three maidens who had been disqualified the girls openly proclaimed their identity. Like their redoubtable ancestors, they would rather rebel than conform; they are prouder of their own self-expression than of pretending to observe the demands of the regimented order. Honor to them! In a beauty contest, an artist will tell you: "The eyes have IT." Aye, so have the I's.
Contestants in Atlantic City Beauty Pageant in a full page of Rotogravure Pictures. Beautiful individual and group camera studies of bathing girls who vied for the crown of "Miss America"! Girls from the East... Girls from the West... "Miss Pennsylvania" and other local beauties who sought laurels in the 1933 revival of the world-famous Atlantic City Beauty Pageant! A striking full-page treat in the Rotogravure Picture Section of the Sunday Public Ledger tomorrow. Order your copy from your newsdealter TODAY!
[note: this page was not microfilmed on Newspapers.com]
"Miss America" Candidates on Parade
Left to right: Leola Councilman, North Carolina; Majorie Hagler, Louisiana; Geraldine Glassman, Pennsylvania; Gertrude Christman, New Jersey; Barbara Strand, Michigan, and Margaret Wittman, Idaho, as they appeared on their rolling chairs during the Atlantic City Beauty Pageant parade on the Boardwalk yesterday.
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Inquirer -- Post-Pageant: Sun., Sep. 10, 1933
Connecticut Platinum Blonde, Sweet 16, Is "Miss America"
"Miss New York State" Second and "Miss California" Third
Director Hit as Beauty Calls Pageant "100 P. C. Fake"
By George M. Mawhinney
Atlantic City, Sept. 9
"Miss America" is a platinum blonde.
Well, as near to platinum as nature can produce, at any rate.
She was Miss Connecticut, her name is Marian Bergeron, and she was crowned with a silver, bejeweled diadem on a great gold and red throne tonight as the Atlantic City Nation Beauty Pageant was brought to whirlwind finish.
Moreover, she is just exactly sweet sixteen.
Before the eyes of approximately 8000 persons in the Municipal Convention Hall here, the crown was placed on her head by Armand T. Nichols, beleaguered director general of the pageant.
"Miss New York State" -- Florence Meyers, 19-year-old brunette, was the runner-up, with Blanche McDonald, a startling blonde representing California, receiving honorable mention. She was the only other pronounced blonde in the contest.
The last big event of the pageant was staged without hitch just after, as a final move of dissension in a week of battling, Nichols was flatly accused by the sponsor of Miss Greater New York City as "a 100 per cent fake."
Because of disagreement on the part of Hal Olver, motion picture promotor sponsoring Miss New York City, that pretty lady was withdrawn just before the final big show started, and Miss America was selected from only 29 contestants.
Four of the beauties were disqualified just as the event opened, but they appeared on the stage nevertheless. They are Miss Idaho, Miss Iowa and Miss Illinois, over whom a bitter battle has been fought for several days, and Vivian Ferguson, who came to this seashore resort to represent Arkansas.
One Is Married
In the same breath that he denied the charges of rule-breaking made against him, Director General Nichols announced he had discovered that Miss Arkansas was married.
My! my! my! What's to become of these pageants?
Nevertheless, tonight's event was a certified success from the standpoint of the gate and from the standpoint of the show.
Seventeen-year-old Geraldine Glassman, Philadelphia's and Pennsylvania's representative, neither fell by the wayside at the first, nor did she last until the end.
Evidently the gentlemen who judged the event preferred blondes.
The big moment of the coronation came after the 29 remaining beauties, gaily gowned and clinging to the arms of uniformed members of the Morris Guards, Atlantic City's First City Troop, entered in grand parade.
From among them the Queen was selected.
Graciously she was assisted to throne, after her name was announced to the mutitude who showed their approval of the choice with round after round of cheers.
A Model Girl
Miss America doesn't drink and she doesn't smoke. Her father said so.
"Mirian is a model girl and she is athletically inclined," he said. "She is an accomplished tap dancer and she has won a number of cups in swimming contests. "She would ordinarily enter the senior class in high school this fall, but now that this has happened I think I will let her work out her professional career. She can go to a private school later."
Miss America is five feet and four and a half inches in height and weighs 112 pounds.
"I'm so happy I don't know what to say," she exclaimed. "I didn't even dare to hope that I would win."
The formalities of the show were begun late in the evening, far later than scheduled, and Miss America was not named until 11.30 P. M.
Damp handkerchiefs mopped the thousands of brows in the audience as they awaited the announcement.
At the outset difficulties were experienced because of "static" from another show staged in one corner of the Convention Hall's great auditorium -- a kind of dance marathon in which bells are rung and sirens are blown in an effort to keep the contestants awake.
Rapidly the judges were introduced and took their seats at the outer rim of the stage. They came out: Gladys Glad declared once by Ziegfeld as America's most beautiful shore girl, George White, of Scandals Fame, Walter Thornton, George Beucher, Russel Patterson and Hugh Walter, more or less well-known artists and illustrators, and Peter Arno, caricaturist.
Early tallies of the judges' private records of the event were ready. The beauties were brought in scanty swim suits and rolling chairs upon the stage.
Parade About Stage
One by one as their names were cried by an announcer they stepped from their seats and paraded about the stage. The announcements were made. But eighteen of the beauties were to be considered.
They were the Misses California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York State, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
The latter appeared on the stage running a temperature of 104. She has been mildly ill for several days.
Rapidly eliminations were made and announced until only four remained. They were the three winners and Miss Evangeline Glidwell of Danville, representing Virginia.
While the audience waited, the judges retired for their last final deliberation.
Once again each tallied his own score of point for carriage, character, figure and face, and once again the tally of all was counted.
It brought the erstwhile Miss Connecticut out on the stage as the most signal beauty honors in six years. It was 1926 when the last pageant was presented.
Photographers -- both the motion picture variety and the ones from the newspapers -- crowded about the successful contestant.
Spotlights glared brightly; shutters snapped.
Greeted By Parents
In the end Miss America was carried to the waiting and congratulatory arms of her father and mother, Elmer R. and Florence Bergeron. Her father is a motorcycle policeman in West Haven, Conn.
Both her parents are of French-Canadian stock. Marion achieved her first beauty fame when she was selected as Miss Greater New Haven. Then out of a class of 21 beauties she was chosen to come to Atlantic City.
Almost too excited to talk, Miss America explained her ambitions for the future, and these have nothing to do with the stage, the motion pictures or travel and all of these will be offered her on contract.
Wants to Sing
She wants to be a radio singer. I can already sing fairly well," she explained.
A host of valuable prizes fall to her lot as the winner. These include an automobile, a $1000 diamond wrist watch, her coronation robe, a trip to Bermuda, an expensive perfume set, still another selection of French perfumes, and finally a toilet set that any girl would be satisfied to keep within her boudoir.
The winner of second place, Miss New York State, who is 19 and a brunette, frankly admits she is a home girl, and has only marriage in view.
Eighteen-year-old Blanche MacDonald, from California, on the other hand, wants to go on the stage, and probably will.
Pennsylvania's representative, incidentally, also announced her desire to head for the stage or screen.
As contestants prepared here for the final judging, the Pageant was rocked by another row that resulted in the withdrawal of Elsa Donath, Miss New York City.
Charges of the double-cross were tossed violently back and forth by Hal Olver, manager of Miss Donath and representative of a motion picture concern and test officials.
Asserting that the contest was "100 per cent phoney," Olver explained that Nichols was trying to pull a fast one in violation of the rules of the pageant.
Olver explained that he, Nichols and Noel Sherman, aide to the director, had entered into an agreement to get the signature of the new Miss America to a contract for exploitation purposes.
Rule Violation Charged
Then, said Olver, what was his surprise to learn that Nichols was going around and signing up all potential winners on his own buck before the judging, a violation of the rules.
Sherman, speaking for himself and Nichols, denied the charges and accused Olver of trying to wreck the show in the interest of a certain New York group which aspires to stage the 1934 beauty contest in that city.
Sherman admitted the contract between Olver, Nichols and himself, but insisted that there had been no violation of the regulation forbidding the signing of any girl before the final selection.
"Why," he said "absolutely no girl has been approached by me and, to the best of my knowledge, Mr. Nichols never approached any. The pageant is on the up and up.
"It was Olver who tried to reach the girls and sign them up. The agreement between the three of us was signed only today, and I telephoned the girls to find out if Olver had tried to sign them previously."
Olver, in his letter to Nichols announcing the withdrawal of Miss New York City wrote: "In view of the fact that set rules of the Atlantic City Beauty Pageant are being willfully violated in the retention and continued judging of entries proven ineligible, and because of the futility of my personal appeals to you to clean up the situation, also to the fact that it is my firm belief that contest is not fair, I beg to announce the official withdrawal of Miss Elsa Donath, of New York City."
Then Olver went on to tell of the agreement and the alleged double-cross.
Miss Marian Bergeron
"Miss America," 1933 model, snapped last night as she was crowned at the climax of the renewal of the Atlantic City Beauty Pageant. The former "Miss Connecticut" hails from West Haven, is 16 and a platinum blonde. Pictures of the runners-up will be found on page 4.
The Runners-Up at Atlantic City Beauty Pageant
Above are the two young beauties who finished second and third in the Atlantic City pageant. To the left is Miss Florence Meyers, 19, of East Rockaway, L. I., representing New York State, the runner-up, and to the right is Miss Blanche McDonald, a ravishing blonde from California.
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Inquirer -- Post-Pageant: Mon., Sep. 11, 1933
Pageant Critics Think "Miss America" O.K.; Queen Busy Basking in New-won Laurels
"Miss New York State" Second and "Miss California" Third
Director Hit as Beauty Calls Pageant "100 P. C. Fake"
By George M. Mawhinney
Atlantic City, N. J. Sept. 10
Atlantic City Beauty Pageants troubled waters were calmer, but still muddy, today as platinum blonde "Miss America, 1933," made ready for her new world.
Mutterings of dissension were still rife among sponsors of various entrants in the contest which ended with her coronation last night, but none raised a voice of criticism over the selection of the judges.
"Ok!" say most of them about "Miss America," heretofore "Miss Connecticut," known in West Haven as Marian Bergeron.
And that, also, is what the 16-year-old champion herself thought about her selection as she awoke this morning to the new day.
"Last night," she said smiling "I felt just like I could fly through the air. And this morning I feel Ok."
It was a busy day for her. While most of the contestants were packing their pretty what-you-may-call 'em, in their bags and getting ready to go back in the old homestead, Marian was tasting new joys in life.
She posed for the photographers in evening gown, swagger suit and sport suit, shaking hands with Armand T. Nichols, generalissimo of the pageant and receiving congratulations from Mayor Harry Bacharach. She will stay here a few days and then perhaps there will be some kind of a career for her.
Marian talks about this and that. "Sure," says she. "I like to sing and dance. But right now I'm not making any plans for the immediate future."
Which means that for today, at least, she is not "signed up" for any person or group of persons planning to "exploit" her.
It was quarreling over who should have the priilege of getting her name on contracts that cause most of the battling of the pageant.
Protestors Call Truce
Nichols Noel Sherman entrepreneur in floor shows, and Hal Olver, promotion man for a motion picture concern, signed a peace agreement by which all should team up in managing her.
Then, at the last minute, Olver announced he was tired of "phonies" and withdrew his entrant, 19-year-old Elsa Donath, Bronx stenographer, representing New York City.
That created a situation. If Nichols and Sherman sign up "Miss America," they must, under agreement, still pay Olver 35 per cent of the manager's "take."
And over this Olver chuckled, while denying today accusations that his one purpose was to wreck the Atlantic City Pageant so that one which may be held in New York next year may have no competition.
"I just wanted everything on the up and up" he said "because I couldn't sign up Miss America for a movie tryout unless it was. But I've got no complaint over the selection of Miss America."
Signs Up Miss N. Y. City
And just to show he is undisturbed he contracted Miss New York City for a year's appearance on the stage at $300 a week to start, and a screen test.
All of this, of course, in no way disturbed the pleasant tenor of Marian Bergeron's way. She was too busy trying on her new crown before the mirror.
About herself: "Oh," says she, "I like Kathleen Norris' books, and Bing Crosby, and I want a career, and then, maybe marriage, and maybe one baby."
Her voice is "deep blue," and she can sing, tap dance and swim.
But her mother, Florence, wife of a West Haven motorcycle policeman, does most of the talking for her.
These are her amazing revelations concerning the winner -- amazing in this modern age.
Never Had a "Date"
Marian is almost a vegetarian. She goes to bed at 9 o'clock in winter and a little later in summer. She doesn't drink, or smoke, and has never had a "date." So desposes Mrs. Bergeron, in whose veins runs the best of French-Canadian blood. And can she cook -- especially cake -- adds the proud mother.
And finally, here are the specifications of the American "Venus," who, by the way, was a four-to-one shot on the books made by the Atlantic City smart gamblers.
She has, besides her naturally wavy, though "sometimes improved" hair, blue-gray eyes and one of those rose petal complexions.
She is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 112 pounds, Her measurements are: Head, 22 ½ inches; neck, 13 3/4 inches; bust, 32 inches; waist, 26 3/4 inches; hips, 37 ½ inches; calves, 13 inches; ankles, 8 inches. She wears a 5-B shoe.
She may be "Miss America" to the Nation, but she's just a well-behaved and obedient daughter to mother and dad is Marion Bergeron, of West Haven, Conn., winner of the beauty crown at Atlantic City's Beauty Pageant. The beauty queen's parents are shown draped fondly around their platinum-haired, 16-year-old daughter in the upper left photo. Dad, incidentally, is a motorcycle policeman. In the other picture, "Miss America," one-time "Miss Connecticut," is shown in a traveling ensemble.
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Inquirer -- Post-Pageant: Wed., Sep. 13, 1933
Beauty Show Head Accepts Mother's Word Winner Is 16
Special to The Inquirer
Atlantic City, Sept. 12
Protest that "Miss America's" age should have disqualified her in the Atlantic City Beauty Pageant left Armand T. Nichols, director general of the show, totally undisturbed today.
He's willing to take her mother's word for when the winner -- platinum-haired Marian Bergeron -- was born. Who, demanded Nichols, should know better?
He disposed of the matter in a word or two in reply to an allegation that the high school girl from West Haven, Conn. is only 15 years old, according to school records.
Those records give her birth date as May 1, 1918, which would disqualify her, since the pageant rules specifically stated that only girls between 16 and 30 might be entrants.
But Nichols thrust the protest aside with the conclusive statement that "Miss Connecticut is Miss America." The pageant committee is entirely satisfied with her status, he added.
For newspapers from other cites and other times, visit the newspaper article index
The Morris Guards Club of Atlantic City was formed in 1887 as a military and social club named after Colonel Daniel Morris, a Civil War veteran and wealthy Atlantic City businessman who donated funds to build an armory building on New York Avenue between Atlantic and Pacific Avenues. Membership included prominent citizens of the region. There is a book: "A history of the Morris Guards, Atlantic City, N.J." by Russell George LeVan. Published 1992. Also see 2010 brief article from Casino Connection.