10 Notable Beauty Pageant Moments


Mazel Tov, Miss America!

In 1945, America crowned its first Jewish Miss America when New York's Bess Myerson won the title, even after being told that unless she changed her name to something "less Jewish," she would never win the competition. Myerson refused and won anyway, though her reign was not without controversy. Catalina swimsuits, the Miss America swimsuit supplier, did not ask Myerson to be a spokeswoman for their product, even though every queen before her had inked a deal. Myerson wasn't fazed and went on to serve in politics and won numerous awards for her philanthropic work.