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Timeline: Miss America

1848 - 1900 | 1901 - 1950 | 1951 - 2001

Timeline key: Tiara - Miss America History, Female Symbol - Women's History


Women's History entry

Newspaperman Horace Greeley publishes a landmark book by journalist and social reformer Margaret Fuller, Woman in the Nineteenth Century. The work argues for women's equality in all aspects of life.


Women's History entry

Leading women in early feminist movement American women move further into the public sphere; the first Women's Rights Convention is held at Seneca Falls, New York.


Women's History entry

Amelia Bloomer begins her crusade to reform American women's fashions.


Miss America entry

P.T. Barnum's efforts to launch a live beauty contest are unsuccessful. Respectable women do not parade their beauty in public. He launches a picture-based beauty contest sponsored by local newspapers. It is highly successful and imitated.



Civil War soldier holding flag The nation is divided in two as North and South clash in the U.S. Civil War.



January 1: President Abraham Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation.


Miss America entry

The first recorded bathing beauty contest takes place at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Inventor Thomas Edison is a judge. A bridal trousseau is the prize. Contestants must be under 25, not married, at least 5 feet 4 inches tall, and weigh no more than 130 pounds.


Women's History entry

November 18: Journalist Nellie Bly sets off to travel around the world in under 80 days.


Women's History entry

An umbrella organization, the General Federation of Women's Clubs, is formed. Women's clubs are venues for women's education and development, and will increasingly focus on community service.


In a second wave of U.S. immigration, people from Eastern Europe and Italy come to America.


Miss America entry

The Chicago Columbian Exposition features a Congress of Beauty.


Women's History entry

The National Federation of Afro-American Women is formed. A year later it joins with the League of Colored Women to become the National Association of Colored Women.



U.S. Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson rules that segregation is not unconstitutional. The doctrine treating African Americans as "separate but equal" holds for the next half century.



Rough Riders, San Juan American soldiers fight the Spanish American War in Cuba and the Philippines.

Timeline key: Tiara - Miss America History, Female Symbol - Women's History

1848 - 1900 | 1901 - 1950 | 1951 - 2001

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