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At a newspaper circulation manager’s meeting in Philadelphia, nine East Coast newspapers decided to hold photographic “popularity contests” from among their readerships to increase their circulations.
Subsequent city finalists would be judged on personality and social graces during citywide summer events.
Annual protests from women’s and religious groups questioned the morality of a beauty contest that featured bobbed hair and bare limbs.
In 1928, the protestors won, and the pageant was discontinued as commercial supporters withdrew in response to accusations that the pageant lacked decorum.
1920s Timeline September 25th: Atlantic City businessmen stage a “Fall Frolic” in order to attract tourists to the seasonal resort beyond the traditional end of summer, Labor Day. Decisions were made to increase the number of scheduled public attractions and make it a two-day event the following year.
With no rule barring her participation, she finished as a runner up.
But her inclusion fueled the fire started by women’s and religious groups against the competition as lacking in decorum.