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By 1921, East Coast newspapers were looking for ways to increase their circulation.Newspaper organizations decided to sponsor photographic popularity contests from among their readership and awarded their respective winners with an all expense paid trip to the Second Annual Fall Frolic.( In September 1920, Atlantic City Businessmen staged a “Fall Frolic” to secure summer tourism past Labor Day.This city-wide festival was highlighted by a spectacular rolling chair parade down the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk.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’.Samuel Gompers, head of the American Federation of Labor, noted in the New York Times, “She (Margaret Gorman) represents the type of womanhood America needs; strong, red-blooded, able to shoulder the responsibilities of home-making and motherhood.
According to leading magazines and periodicals of the time, the modern woman was vigorous. This was an unprecedented break from the rigorously controlled physicality prescribed for the ideal 19th century woman, with its emphasis on delicacy and fragility.Established in 1921 by local Atlantic City businessmen as a way to extend the summer season, The Miss America Organization has since grown to become one of the most recognizable household names in America.Miss America remains a role model to young and old alike.The event had become so big, results of the prize-winners were later aired nationwide via radio.Although never before seen as a problem, concern arose over the fact that a leading contender for the “Miss” America title was a married woman.
She would also win a trophy for her appeance in the Boardwalk Parade noting her popularity with the crowds of parade-goers.