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The Miss North Carolina Pageant began in 1937 and this year celebrates its 75th anniversary. The pageant began as a swimsuit contest but has since evolved into a scholarship contest. Maria Beale Fletcher is the only North Carolinian to win the Miss America Pageant. Hughes recounts highlights from the seventy-five years.
Since its onset, the state’s pageant has transformed from focusing on beauty, as a swimsuit contest, to balancing attention to beauty and brains, by including a scholarship grant. The group gathered for the event’s diamond anniversary represented career paths traveled after their journey down the Miss North Carolina runway. They included movie stars, songwriters, lawyers, and physicians. The alumna earning the distinction all crowned Miss North Carolina hope for was Maria Beale Fletcher, voted Miss North Carolina and Miss America.