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( 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.

Once there, frolic organizers placed the young women in an “Inter-City Beauty” contest in which the judging was largely based on their general appeal in appearance, personality, conversations with the judges, and interactions with the crowds.

In order to build hype, the women were later put in the running for the Golden Mermaid trophy given to “The Most Beautiful Bathing Girl in America.” Margaret Gorman swept both events.

It is in her type that the hope of the country resides.” Despite the best efforts of the pageant officials, the pageant gained a reputation for being a little risqué.

Annual protests from women’s and religious groups questioned the morality of a beauty contest that featured bobbed hair and bare limbs.

By September 1922 she became known as “Miss America.” In the ensuing years it would grow and reflect some of the most powerfully held attitudes towards what it meant to be an ideal American woman. In the decades just prior to its creation, there was a marked transformation around women’s roles in society.

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But her inclusion fueled the fire started by women’s and religious groups against the competition as lacking in decorum.

Over fifty newspapers from across the country sent representatives to compete in the “Inter-City Beauty” contest. She was expected to defend her numerous 1921 laurels as the returning champ.

In the end, it was Mary Katherine Campbell, “Miss Columbus” (OH) who was selected to succeed Margaret. It was estimated that three hundred thousand people attended.

They would become known as the Inter-City Beauties.

Each individual winner’s prize would be an all expense paid trip to Atlantic City’s Second Annual Fall Frolic as an honored guest.

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