MISS AMERICA NOTEBOOK 2003
(We dropped the notebook when the Miss America Pageant dropped Atlantic City and became
a cable TV reality show)
14 of the last 25 (since 1980) Miss Americas won swimsuit preliminaries but only two of the last eight.
(exceptions: Diedre Downs 2004, Ericka Dunlap 2003, Erika Harold 2002, Katie Harman 2001, Nicole
Johnson 1998, Kate Shindle 1997, Shawntel Smith 1995, Kimberly Aiken, 1993, Leanza Cornett 1992,
Marjorie Vincent 1990, Gretchen Carlson 1988).
From 1981-87 there were seven straight swimsuit winners who became Miss America.
The only two Miss Americas to win just talent preliminaries from 1990-97 - Marjorie Vincent and Kate
Shindle – were both representing Illinois.
Ericka Dunlap (FL-2003) was the first Miss America not to win either traditional preliminary since Nicole
Johnson (VA-1998). Before Johnson the last was Shawntel Smith (OK) in 1995.
Vermont is the only state to never have a preliminary winner. Joslyn Tinker became the first Miss Alaska
to win a preliminary (SS) in 1998. California (31) and Alabama (20) have had the most preliminary winners.
Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming have never had a talent winner.
Alabama (12), California (10) and District of Columbia (10) have had the most talent winners. Laurie Gray
(2003) was the first Miss RI to win talent since Marilyn Cocozza in 1967 and only the second ever.
Maine, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Vermont have never had a swimsuit winner. Abbie
Rabine (MA) won in 2001, the first from her state. California (21), Mississippi (12) and Arkansas (11) have
had the most swimsuit winners. Candace Glickman (2003) was the first Miss NH to win swimsuit since
Nancy Naylor in 1966 and only the second ever. Tiffany Walker (2002) was the first Miss NY to win
swimsuit since Vanessa Williams in 1983. Lauren Davidson (2002) was the first Miss AR to win swimsuit
since Elizabeth Ward in 1981.
Preliminary winners in evening wear and interview were announced in 2001 and 2002 but not in 2003.
Whitney Boyles (KY-2000) was the last woman representing a state that had won the year before to make
the top 5. She was 4th runner-up the year after Heather French won. Before her it was Donna Pope
(MS-1980). She was 2nd runner-up the year after Cheryl Prewitt won.
Closest to duplicating Mississippi’s back-to-back wins (1958-59) came when Judy Hieke (WI-1973) was
1st runnerup the year after Terry Meeuwsen won. A Miss Wisconsin had not been in the top five in 30
years since then, until Dr. Tina Sauerhammer in 2003.
Miss America titles have never been won by women representing Miss Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana,
Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming
(22 states). Diedre Downs was the third Miss Alabama to win, the first since Heather Whitestone in 1994.
Ericka Dunlap was the second Miss Florida to win. Erika Harold was the fifth Miss Illinois to
win, second only to California. Katie Harman became the first from Oregon in 2001. Heather French
became the first from Kentucky in 1999. Suzette Charles (NJ-83) became Miss America but did not win
the pageant. New Jersey residents Bette Cooper (Bertrand Island-37) and Kate Shindle (IL-97) won the
title, but were not competing as Miss New Jersey.
Miss Alaska, Delaware, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota and Vermont have never had a
contestant finish in the top five. Dr. Tina Sauerhammer (2003) was the first Miss Wisconsin in the top five
since Judy Hieke was first runner-up in 1973. Teresa Benitez (2002) was the first Miss Nevada in the top
five in 16 years.
No Miss Vermont has finished in the Top 10 and Miss Wyoming has not been a semi-finalist since Elaine
Holkenbrink in 1953.
78 women have been Miss America. That includes Suzette Charles (NJ-83) and counts Mary Campbell
(winner in both 1922 and 1923) as one.
The first pageant was held in 1921 but there were no pageants for six years (1928-32 and 1934). The title
was first post-dated in 1950. The 2004 pageant was the 78th pageant and the 83rd anniversary.
Preliminary competitions began in 1935.
Scholarships were first awarded in 1945.
Two-piece swimsuits were allowed only in 1947, until they were allowed again starting in 1997.
The first network telecast was on ABC from 1954-56. It moved to CBS from 1957-65, to NBC from
1966-76, back to CBS in 1977 for one more year, returned to NBC in 1978 and landed back on ABC in
1997. It will leave network TV in 2006 for the Country Music Television (CMT) cable network.
Jeff Margolis was producer from 1993-2000. Bob Bain took over in 2001.
“There She Is” was first sung in 1955. It returned again in 1985 after licensing differences with composer
Bernie Wayne had forced he pageant to use “Look at Her” for four years.
Every state was represented starting in 1959.
Two separate panels of judges were used from 1988-2000.
The boardwalk parade moved from Tuesday to Friday in 1989. The parade was cancelled in 2001
(Sept. 21st) for security reasons associated with the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington
DC 10 days earlier.
Only the top five finalists performed talent on TV starting in 1999.
The top 20 quarter-finalists were first added in 2001. It was changed to Top 15 in 2002.
The game show quiz of the five finalists began in 2001. (When will it end?)
The 41 non-semifinalists cast a vote in 2001.
The Miss America Pageant was not held in the fall of 2005, moving to January 2006. And, for the first
time in its history, the pageant will not be held in Atlantic City.
Chris Harrison hosted in 2004, the fifth host in five years. Tom Bergeron hosted in 2003, Wayne Brady in
2002, Tony Danza in 2001, Donny and Marie Osmond co-hosted in both 1999-2000. It was Meredith
Vierra and Boomer Esiason in 1998, Eva LaRue and husband John in 1997. Regis Philbin hosted his sixth
(and last) in 1996, the first five with Kathie Lee Gifford. Bert Parks did 25 pageants, Gary Collins did nine
(1982-1990). Ron Ely (1981) followed Parks.
MISS AMERICA DOUBLE PRELIMINARY WINNERS (thru 2003)
(E-includes Evening Wear, I-includes Interview)
(contestant's finish in parentheses - Miss Americas at right in parentheses)
(all date references are for the year the pageant was held)
2002 I ERIKA HAROLD, ILLINOIS
2002 E Camille Lewis, Maryland (4) (HAROLD)
2002 I Teresa Benitez, Nevada (3) (HAROLD)
2001 E Abbie Rabine, Massachusetts (1) (KATIE HARMAN, OREGON)
2001 I Stephanie Culberson, Tennessee (2) (HARMAN)
2001 I Marshawn Evans, D.C. (3) (HARMAN)
2000 Faith Jenkins, Louisiana (1) (ANGELA BARAQUIO, HAWAII)
1996 Patricia Leines, Oregon (2) (TARA HOLLAND, KANSAS)
1996 Melissa Short, Hawaii (NF) (HOLLAND)
1994 HEATHER WHITESTONE, ALABAMA
1992 Catherine Lemkau, Iowa (1) (LEANZA CORNETT, FLORIDA)
1986 KELLYE CASH, TENNESSEE
1985 Suellen Cochran, Ohio (NF) (SUSAN AKIN, MISSISSIPPI)
1983 VANESSA WILLIAMS, NEW YORK
1982 DEBBIE MAFFETT, CALIFORNIA
1978 Teresa Cheatham, Alabama (1) (KYLENE BARKER, VIRGINIA)
1976 DOROTHY BENHAM, MINNESOTA
1976 Carmen McCollum, Texas (2) (BENHAM)
1972 TERRY MEEUWSEN, WISCONSIN
1969 Kathy Baumann, Ohio (1) (PAM ELDRED, MICHIGAN)
1968 JUDI FORD, ILLINOIS
1966 Charlene Dallas, California (1) (JANE JAYROE, KANSAS)
1963 Judith Short, Alabama (NF) (DONNA AXUM, ARKANSAS)
1963 Rosanne Tueller, D.C. (1) (AXUM)
1960 NANCY FLEMING, MICHIGAN
1952 NEVA LANGLEY, GEORGIA
1951 Lee Ogburn, North Carolina (2) (COLLEEN HUTCHINS, UTAH)
1949 JACQUE MERCER, ARIZONA
1946 Janey Miller, Atlanta (MARILYN BUFERD, CALIFORNIA)
1945 BESS MYERSON, NEW YORK CITY
1944 VENUS RAMEY, D.C.
1944 Betty Rase, Birmingham (4) (RAMEY)
1944 Virginia Warlex, Florida (2) (RAMEY)
1943 Helena Mack, Boston (JEAN BARTEL, CALIFORNIA)
1942 JO-CARROLL DENNISON, TEXAS
35 total double winners - 29 traditional double winners - 14 Miss Americas