An 18-year-old brunette from Tyler waited anxiously with nine other finalists for the winner of the “Miss America” beauty pageant to be announced on Sept. 12, 1942.

Ask any Texan how many young women from the Lone Star State have been chosen the most beautiful in the land, and the answer most likely will be two. He or she may even know they came from the same hometown and reigned four years apart in the 1970s, but hardly anyone remembers the first Miss Texas to take Atlantic City by storm.

Bartee Haile writes This Week In Texas History which appears every Sunday. He welcomes your comments and questions or P.O. Box 130011, Spring, TX 77393 and invites you to visit his website at

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