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Americas Junior Miss Beauty Pageant Documentary featuring Diane Sawyer 1970

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Distinguished Young Women, formerly known as Americas Junior Miss, is а national non-profit organization that provides scholarship opportunities to high school senior girls. Depending on the schedule of the various state and local programs, young women are eligible during the summer preceding their senior year in high school. This program is designed to provide young women with the opportunity and support needed to succeed before, during, and after attending college. Since its creation in 1958, over 700,000 young ladies have participated in competitions spanning the United States. Each state hosts а state program in which the chosen representative advances to the national program, held in the programs birthplace of Mobile, Alabama.

In the late 1920s, Mobiles Junior Chamber of Commerce, known today as the Jaycees, began the earliest form of the Junior Miss program as an annual floral pageant in the spring to encourage participation from residents in local beautification projects, including azalea flowers. The winner of the pageant would eventually choose her successor to carry on the role of representing the annual program: an act similar to what every Americas Junior Miss has done а year after winning the title, but its the judges who decide first.

Shortly after the Second World War, the Junior Chamber changed the program especially for young high school seniors to participate. Prizes included the honor of being queen of the Azalea Trail Maids, Mobiles official hostesses at special events. Before 1957, the Junior Chamber realized that not only were Mobilians participating in their program, so were Mississippi and Florida residents. It was decided that year to make the program national, allowing high school seniors from every state to participate in the renamed Americas Junior Miss Pageant. Unlike the Miss America pageant which started as а beauty pageant, but now includes judging on Evening Gown, Private 12 Minute Interview, On Stage Q A, and Swimsuit, the Americas Junior Miss Pageant began not as а beauty pageant but rather as а scholarship program. Americas Junior Miss contestants were required to be seniors in high school and were judged on scholastic achievement, creative and performing arts talent, physical fitness, poise and appearance evening gowns, and а judges interview. Bathing suits were never а part of the Americas Junior Miss Pageant.

The first national finals were held in March 1958 at the Saenger Theater in downtown Mobile, with 18 states represented. Phyllis Whitenack of West Virginia won $5000 in scholarship money, along with the title of Americas Junior Miss.

In 1963, all 50 states had their own Junior Miss in the national finals. The 1960s was а decade of excellence for the Americas Junior Miss program, with new sponsors such as Kodak and Chevrolet, the program was able to continue increasing scholarship beyond $24,000 and bring Mobiles annual event before the eyes of network television viewers regularly for 23 years starting in 1965. Among the entertainers invited to perform at the finals early in the Sixties was Eddie Fisher. In this decade, two holders of the Junior Miss title would soon lead successful careers while supporting the organization that helped them along the way. Missouri Junior Miss and Americas Junior Miss 1961 Mary Frann would one day appear on TV programs such as Newhart and numerous variety shows in her acting career. Frann help founded the alumni organization Americas Junior Miss Council in 1995. Kentucky Junior Miss and Americas Junior Miss 1963 Diane Sawyer continued to support the program as her career in journalism continued, which led to а position at the ABC Television Network program Good Morning America and most recently to be the second woman to individually hold the anchor chair nationally for а nightly news program World News on ABC television Barbara Walters, Elizabeth Vargas and Connie Chung co-anchored with male counterparts.

The New Seekers appeared at the May 1973 finals, hosted by Ed McMahon. Actor Michael Landon would host the national finals for the first time in 1974, his first out of seven appearances. Also in 1974, Donna Alexander of New Jersey, became the first black female to reach this point of the competition. Alumni from this decade include Americas Junior Miss 1973 Linda Rutledge Delbridge of Kansas, who would one day become а computer scientist and executive for IBM. Georgia Junior Miss 1976 Deborah Norville followed а journalism career path that would earn her the job of hosting the syndicated news program Inside Edition.

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Запис опублікований: 12/01/2012 01:01
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