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Miss America
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Gallery: Miss America

The popularity of the Miss America pageant led to a variety of beauty contests -- many during the 1950s, a golden age for pageants. Some events were more important, politically and socially, than others. The Miss Black America contest defied the exclusion of African American women from the Miss America pageant. The crowning of the National Doughnut Queen held less social significance. But contestants in every beauty pageant shared one thing -- the sincere desire to be chosen queen -- or king, in some cases -- and to represent a community ideal.

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