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The Miss America OrganizationThe miss America Pageant and also its sponsor, the miss out on America Organization, has advanced from a beach-side showcase for frolicking bathing beauties come a competition the still has bathing suits, however now emphasizes scholarships and also social causes. In 1921 the winner that the first Inter-City beauty beauty Contest was crowned "Miss America," and she won a first place compensation of $100. The an initial pageant had only seven contestants from cities along the east Coast. Although the number of contestants and also the pageant"s popularity raised throughout the decade, the event was closed under in 1927 early to cultivation criticism and charges that immorality, and also a lack of financial support.

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In 1933 organizers revitalized the pageant. By 1940, the pageant had actually regained its jae won footing and also respectability. It ongoing as a not-for-profit event; its main title became the "Miss America Pageant" and chose the Atlantic City Convention Hall together its irreversible venue. The national executive director, Lenora Slaughter, shaped the modern pageant by including features such as state competitions, the scholarship program, and also a judging group based on personal interviews.

In the 1990s the pageant to be reformed right into The miss America Organization, a not-for-profit corporation which made up three distinctive divisions: the classic Miss America Pageant, the scholarship fund, and a miss America foundation. The company grants state franchises to one "responsible" company in each state ⁠— usually the small Chamber of commerce (Jaycees). The state company conducts a state vain in accordance through all the rules and also regulations developed by the miss America Organization. These include having a panel of Miss-America-certified judges. The state pageant organizations, in turn, are responsible for mutual franchising that "responsible" organizations within each state to sponsor regional and regional competitions. The local, state, and also national establishments all count on a vast army that volunteers and financial supporters to occupational throughout the year.

Contestants at all levels the the pageant complete in 4 categories: talent, night wear, interview and physical fitness. Further, every miss out on America state titleholder must pick a platform for a social cause that is necessary to her. She spends her year"s business as a state winner advocating her issue. ~ above the national level, miss America likewise spends her year (since 1989, once the platform requirement was established) advocating her reason to the media, company people, publicly officials, and also civic and charitable organizations.

The pageant competitions and the nationwide broadcast are just one component of what the miss out on America organization does. The national and also state establishments operate twelve months a year, increasing scholarship accumulation from huge and small businesses. The miss out on America Organization"s key mission is to provide contestants with the chance to pursue their professional and educational objectives through monetary grants and awards.

On the national level, scholarships are distributed as follows:

Miss America, $40,000First runner-up, $30,000Second runner-up, $20,000Third runner-up, $15,000Fourth runner-up, $10,000

Each that the 5 semi-finalists likewise wins $8,000. Each of the various other 40 contestants receives $3,000. The three preliminary talent winners gain $2000 each. The 3 preliminary swimsuit winners gain $500 each. One non-finalist interview winner is forgive $1,000. There are a variety of other scholarship awards top top the nationwide level, including ten Bert Parks non-finalist talent winners, receiving $1,000 each, and also a newly created Steinway Music Scholarship of $5,000.

Since creating the scholarship routine in 1945, the miss out on America program has distributed an ext than $150 million in educational grants, making that the world"s biggest scholarship routine for women. Each year much more than $30 million in diverse scholarships are made available to countless women who participate in local, state and national miss out on America programs.

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Bert ParksBert Parks, speaking about his appeal to a local Atlantic City push reporter, stated it best: "I"m completely charming." Parks" eager, folksy appeal and also vaudevillian capability to rotate unexpected pratfalls right into comedy served him well as the host of the miss America Pageant for a quarter of a century. Born Bert Jacobson on December 30, 1914, in Atlanta, Georgia, Parks was entertaining his parents with Charlie Chaplin impersonations through the age of three. At 16, he to be hired for his very first broadcasting project by Atlanta radio terminal WGST. Parks moved to brand-new York when he was 19. Blessed through the sort of wealthy resonant voice suited for radio, that worked first as a singer/straight man on The Eddie Cantor Show and then together a employee announcer because that CBS radio.

In 1945 he won the project as host on the well-known game show, Break the Bank, and became one emcee on many game shows, both in radio, as the organize in mirrors such as Stop the Music, and on television as hold of Double or Nothing between 1953-1955. By the early 1950s, he to be a ubiquitous hold of both daytime and also primetime game shows and selection series. Indigenous 1950-52 he had his very own daytime selection show ~ above NBC, The Bert Parks Show. In the at an early stage 1960s he replaced Robert Preston together the title character in the Broadway hit, The Music Man and performed consistently in road companies of musicals. In 1975 that made his feature debut in That"s the means of the World.

Bert Parks virtually ended up being an American icon as the hold of the annual Miss America Pageant from its second telecast in 1955 till 1980, once he was fired by producers seeking a younger photo for the show. Parks was known for his capacity to placed contestants in ~ ease and for his talent helping contestants, all amateurs at gift on stage, look your best. He gift himself as a dad figure and helped offer the present its wholesome picture in the 50s and 60s. As Vicki gold Levi, a historian of the pageant, said,

... That made friend feel the he might be your guest at Thanksgiving dinner and he would simply sit there and tell you all around Miss Alabama and also all around Miss California. And also he simply was such an important ingredient of why the television display worked.

The pageant reached its climax every year as soon as the new Miss America to be crowned and Parks sang the show"s signature song, "There She Is."

In 1979 organizers the the pageant were pressured to change Parks, that was believed to be as well old, too corny, and also too sexist because that the times. Once Parks was dismissed, an unforeseen outcry developed from the public. Public passion was flamed by the method in i m sorry Parks had found out around being fired. A letter was sent out to Parks" home in Connecticut when he was traveling to Florida. The news had leaked to the press, and before Parks to be able to open up the letter the dismissal, he read about it in the newspapers. Parks to be bitter and devastated. In protest, Tonight Show host Johnny Carson organized an letter writing campaign to reinstate Parks. The project was unsuccessful. The actor Ron Ely ended up being the pageant"s brand-new host. In 1990 Parks make a nostalgic go back to the pageant because that its 70th anniversary, as a guest. That did no sing to the winner that year ⁠— host Gary Collins walk ⁠— but Parks go serenade twenty-five former Miss ameri assembled on phase with the signature song, "There She Is." back he received a standing ovation, the program was marred through gaffes and also he was not asked to return.

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Also in 1990, Parks made a much lauded cameo appearance as himself in the Marlon Brando film, The Freshman, wherein he sang a satirical variation of "There She Is" come a lizard. In 1992, Parks died at period 77 of lung cancer. As the miss out on America emcee, he had actually been love by millions, and also considered something of a national icon. His minute of serenading each year"s winner evoked a debutante ball, a father providing away the bride, and also a Cinderella story, all in one.