Mrs. America 2005 host with the Iowa representative
Mrs. America 2005 host with the Iowa representative

Mrs. America Pageant is a beauty competition that was established to honor married women throughout the United States of America. Each of the contestants representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia ranges in age from their 20s to 50s and earns the right to participate in the national event by winning her state competition. These state events are under the direction of Mrs. America state directors. The winner goes on to compete in the Mrs. World pageant.[1]

Mrs. America, Inc., will celebrate its 45th anniversary in 2021. The pageant has been televised on networks including PAX and WE (Women's Entertainment); in May 2011, it was carried by the My Family TV network.

On August 29, 2014, the pageant was held in Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Arizona. The pageant moved to its original pageant home, Las Vegas - Westgate Resort, Hotel and Casino. The pageant continues to be held in Las Vegas yearly.

During the 2014 pageant, Mrs. America, Inc., announced that it would be participating in a joint Russian-American contest to be held in Sevastopol, Crimea.[1] This has caused some controversy,[2][3] since Crimea is recognized by most countries in the world as Ukrainian territory that has been annexed by Russia.[4] The 2015 joint pageant was supposed to mark the 25th anniversary of a joint U.S.-Soviet Mrs. America contest held in Moscow in 1989 to foster good will between the two countries; however, organizers announced that due to the devaluation of the ruble against the American dollar, the pageant would have to find a new site.

The Mrs. America 2023 Pageant was held on August 20, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nicole Zwiercan of Illinois was crowned Mrs. America.[5]

Events

1955: Ramona Deitemeyer, Mrs. America 1955, appeared on What's My Line?.[6]

1993: Verna Martin, Mrs. District of Columbia, on Wednesday, May 12, 1993 the designation of Mrs. Washington, DC – America 1993 was conferred upon Verna Martin by the Mrs. America Pageant selection committee.

She is the first African American contestant to win her state title.

2004: Traci Clemens, Mrs. Rhode Island, competed while six months pregnant with twins. She was the first visibly pregnant woman to compete in the nationally televised event. Traci Clemens is also the first African American contestant to win her state title. Traci has made double pageant history.

Titleholders

Titleholders are designated by year of title/reign; competitions are held the preceding fall.[7]

Title Year Name State Placement at Mrs. World Notes
1977 Ruth Johnson California California
1978 Cindy Roberts Alaska Alaska
1979 Carrie Gabriel Strom New Jersey New Jersey
1980 Carol Anne McEwen Texas Texas
1981 Paddy Boyd Argovitz Louisiana Louisiana
1982 Rhonda McGeeney Texas Texas
1983 Susan Goodman Tennessee Tennessee
1984 Deborah Wolfe West Virginia West Virginia 1st runner up Mother of Miss West Virginia Teen USA 2004 Mary Ellen Wolfe,[8] and made top 10 in Miss America 1980
1985 Donna Russell Mississippi Mississippi
1986 Cynthia Amann Florida Florida
1987 Pamela Nail Mississippi Mississippi Mrs. World
Suzy Katz California California N/A Originally 1st runner-up to Pamela Nail in 1987, ascended to Mrs. America when Pamela Nail won Mrs. World
1988 Jennifer Kline Minnesota Minnesota 2nd runner-up
1989 Jennifer Johnson Oklahoma Oklahoma
1990
No Mrs. America representative that year
1991 Kristianna Nichols Indiana Indiana
1992 Dr. Doris Martineaux Dalton Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
1993 Keyna Baucom North Carolina North Carolina
1994 Wendy Lewis Texas Texas
1995 Kimberly Brasher Oklahoma Oklahoma 1st runner up Ms Idaho
1996 Cynthia Pensiero Ohio Ohio
1997 Lisa Lilenthal New York (state) New York
1998 Renee Cairns Florida Florida
1999 Starla Stanley Utah Utah Mrs. World
Stacy Willis Alabama Alabama N/A Originally 1st runner-up, ascended to title when Starla Stanley won Mrs. World[9]
2000 Leslie Lam Hawaii Hawaii
2001 Nicole Brink Indiana Indiana Mrs. World Previously Miss Indiana Teen USA 1992 (semifinalist in Miss Teen USA 1992) and Miss Indiana USA 1998 under her maiden name, Nicole Llewellyn.
Laurett Ellsworth Arenz Virginia Virginia N/A Originally 1st runner-up, ascended to title when Nicole Brink won Mrs. World. Went on to host a National financial radio program: HERO'S Talk Radio, Freedom Financial Network [1] and write an award-winning book: The RAFT Strategy: How to Build Your Tax-Free Nest Egg Without Risk
2002 Kristi Phillips Alabama Alabama 3rd runner up Was Mrs. America®, Mrs. Congeniality and the TRIMSPA Dream Body Winner.
2003 Heidi Dinan Missouri Missouri
2004 Julie Love-Templeton Alabama Alabama 3rd runner up
2005 Andrea Pruess California California Previously Miss Virginia Teen USA 1992 & Miss Virginia 1995 (dethroned) under her maiden name, Andrea Ballengee. Mrs. United States 2003. Filmed for television at the Palm Springs Riviera Resort & Racquet Club in Palm Springs, California[10][11]
2006 Diane Tucker Arizona Arizona Mrs. World
Marney Duckworth Colorado Colorado N/A Originally 1st runner-up, ascended to title when Diane Tucker won Mrs. World. Previously Miss Nebraska Teen USA 1992 under her maiden name Marney Monson went on to become a published author in spring 2021
2007 Kelly McBee Wyoming Wyoming Top 10
2008 Maureen McDonald North Carolina North Carolina
2009 Andrea Robertson Missouri Missouri
2010 Shelley Carbone[12] Connecticut Connecticut
2011 April Lufriu Florida Florida Mrs. World First-generation American (parents from Honduras)
Lara Leimana Fonoimoana Hawaii Hawaii Originally 1st runner-up, ascended to title when April Lufriu won Mrs. World
2012 Vicki Sarber Alaska Alaska Formerly Miss Alaska American Coed 1992-Placed 2nd Runner-Up at National Competition in Honolulu, Hawaii. 1990 Miss Alaska Teen of the Year. Placed 1st Runner Up at National Competition in New Orleans, La.
2013 Austen (Brown) Williams Texas Texas N/A Previously Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2002 (Miss Congeniality)

Competed at Mrs. World along with her 1st runner through invitation of the national office [13]
Kaley Sparling[14] Idaho Idaho Mrs. World Named 1st runner-up in 2013 Mrs. America pageant[13]

Competed alongside of Williams at Mrs. World 2013 pageant by invitation of the national office [13]
2014 Michelle Nicole Evans Oklahoma Oklahoma
2015 Madeline (Mitchell) Gwin Alabama Alabama Former Miss Alabama USA 2011 and 2nd runner up for Miss USA 2011
2016 Natalie Luttmer Washington (state) Washington Top 10
2017 Mekayla (Diehl) Eppers Indiana Indiana Top 12 Former Miss Indiana USA 2014 and top 20 at Miss USA 2014
2018 Nicole (Rash) Cook[15] Illinois Illinois Top 6 Former Miss Indiana 2007
1st runner up at Miss America 2008 pageant

Former Ms. Missouri 2012 and Ms. America 2012[16]

Also competed as Mrs. Illinois in 2014
2019 Natalie Winslow Nevada Nevada
2021 Brooklyn Rivera Texas Texas
2022 Jackie Blankenship Michigan Michigan
2023 Aria Hutchinson Michigan Michigan

Crossovers

Some contestants in the Mrs. America pageant have previously held state pageant titles in the Miss USA, Miss America, Mrs. United States, and Miss Teen USA pageants. They include:[11][17][18][19][20][21][22]

Forerunner pageant

Prior to the current Mrs. America pageant, there was an earlier pageant of the same name. The pageant was created by public relations executive Bert Nevins in 1936 as a promotion for his client, Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey. When Nevins sold the pageant in 1963, it was the only nationally televised beauty pageant for married women.[23]

Mrs. America 1956, Ramona Deitemeyer
Mrs. America 1956, Ramona Deitemeyer

By 1964, participants were graded on cooking, sewing, ironing, party preparation and other homemaking abilities, family psychology, grooming, poise, personality, and general attractiveness. Winners included:
Source: online newspaper archives

Hosts

References

  1. ^ a b Mrs. America website
  2. ^ Salon News "Mrs. America goes to Crimea: The pageant that once tried to be trailblazing is a disaster" Sep 5, 2014
  3. ^ Moscow News: "Mrs. America Defies Politics and Brings Beauty Pageant to Crimea" Sep 5, 2014
  4. ^ UN Website
  5. ^ "MRS. America Inc. On Instagram: "Congratulations to our new MRS. America, Nicole Zwiercan, MRS. Illinois 👑 • We are excited to watch your reign! #MrsAmerica #MAI #MrsAmericaOfficial #MrsAmericaPresents #MrsAmericaInc #MRS #beauty #pageant #MrsIllinois #Illinois #delegates #America #westgate #lasvegas #westgateresorts #westgatelasvegas #victoriasvoice #victoriasvoicefoundation #victoryclubs #beautyforgood #empoweringwomen #awareness #charity #gilliamphotography"".
  6. ^ TV.com episode guide. Accessed 15 September 2020.
  7. ^ Mrs. America Titleholders, pageantcenter.com
  8. ^ West Virginia 2004 Archived 2012-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, TFTJ
  9. ^ "Huntsville Resident Crowned MRS. America 2000". Archived from the original on 2007-12-11. Retrieved 2008-09-03.
  10. ^ Palm Springs Desert Cities Virtual Film Office: Filmed in the Desert Cities
  11. ^ a b "2005 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  12. ^ "Mrs America 2010 Results". Mrs. America Pageant. Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  13. ^ a b c "Kaley Sparling- Mrs. World far from Toddlers & Tiaras". Boarders. December 3, 2013.
  14. ^ "MRS WORLD 2013 – CONTESTANTS, PREDICTIONS & WINNERS". 23 November 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Chief Meteorologist places in Top 15 in Mrs. America Pageant". KGET News. August 27, 2018. Nicole Elizabeth Cook of Illinois was crowned Mrs. America.
  16. ^ Peterson, Deb (April 17, 2012). "St. Louis' Nicole Rash crowned Ms. America". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  17. ^ "2010 Mrs America". Archived from the original on January 20, 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  18. ^ "2009 Mrs America". Archived from the original on October 12, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  19. ^ "2008 Mrs America". Archived from the original on December 14, 2007. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  20. ^ "2007 Mrs America". Archived from the original on October 13, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  21. ^ "2006 Mrs America". Archived from the original on July 9, 2009. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  22. ^ "2004 Mrs America". Archived from the original on June 24, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  23. ^ New York Times, July 20, 1966
  24. ^ http://villagegreennj.com/towns/south-orange/turning-100-longtime-south-orange-resident-celebrated-family-friends/#prettyphoto[group]/3/ The Village Green
  25. ^ "The Sunday News Journal - Google News Archive Search".
  26. ^ appeared in Greyhound Scenicruiser ads and christened the first one with champagne in July 1954 in Pontiac, Michigan; "Mrs. America (Wanda Jennings, of Saint Louis, Missouri) broke a traditional bottle of champagne on the front bumper of F-701 (serial 002)."
  27. ^ "Growing Up at Greyhound". bluehoundsandredhounds.info. Archived from the original on 2011-06-17.
  28. ^ Ramona Deitemeyer Archived 2008-07-14 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ Growing Up In The 1950s, the (Portland) Oregonian. The "Mrs. America" title held by Mrs. Maletis is apparently not the same as the one that is the subject of this article, because Mrs. America, Inc. reportedly celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2007, making 1977 the first title in the current series. Mrs. Maletis is not listed on the official Mrs. America, Inc. website. See Mrs. America Incorporated, History