- Camille Schrier was crowned Miss America 2020 on December 19 at the 99th Miss America pageant.
- It’s – understandably – an emotional moment when the winner is crowned.
- There are tears, laughter, and screaming, but it’s always heartwarming.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Miss America competition has been around since 1921. While it has gone through many changes throughout the years, one thing never changes: the unbridled joy and excitement each woman feels when they are crowned.
We’ve rounded up 38 different Miss Americas, caught at the exact moment they received their crown. Whether there are tears, laughs, or shock, one thing that they all have in common is pure, unadulterated happiness.
1940: Miss Philadelphia, Frances Burke
Burke won when key cities were still eligible as competitors, not just states.
1946: Miss California, Marilyn Buferd
California is tied with New York for the state that has produced the most Miss Americas. They have had six apiece.
1951: Miss Alabama, Yolande Betbeze
After Betbeze won, she refused to pose in Catalina Swimwear, one of the pageant’s sponsors. This infuriated the brand so much that they created their own pageant, Miss USA.
1959: Miss Mississippi, Mary Ann Mobley
Mobley was the first Miss Mississippi to win the crown.
1960: Miss Mississippi, Lynda Mead
Both the outgoing and new Miss America hailed from Mississippi in 1959.
1970: Miss Michigan, Pamela Eldred
Eldred became the third Miss Michigan to win the pageant when she became Miss America 1970.
1971: Miss Texas, Phyllis George
George went on to become the First Lady of Kentucky from 1979 to 1983, as she was married to former Kentucky Governor John Y. Brown Jr.
1976: Miss New York, Tawny Godin
She appeared in “Rocky II” as a reporter.
1980: Miss Mississippi, Cheryl Prewitt
Prewitt was involved in a car accident when she was 11 years old, requiring 100 stitches.
1981: Miss Oklahoma, Susan Powell
Powell went on to host several seasons of the Discovery Channel show, “Home Matters.”
1984: Miss New York, Vanessa Williams
Williams remains the only Miss America to resign. She was allegedly pressured to by the organisation after NSFW photos of her were published in Penthouse, without her consent.
Williams went on to become a successful singer and actress, best known for her role as Wilhemina Slater on “Ugly Betty.”
1986: Miss Mississippi, Susan Akin
Akins’ win was successfully predicted by a computer program that gave her seven to one odds of winning.
1995: Miss Alabama, Heather Whitestone
Whitestone was deaf, making her the first Miss America with a disability.
In 2002, she received a cochlear implant, allowing her to hear for the first time since she was 18 months old.
1996: Miss Oklahoma, Shawntel Smith
Smith was crowned Miss America at the 75th annual Miss America pageant.
1997: Miss Kansas, Tara Holland
Holland getting crowned is shown at the beginning of the film “Little Miss Sunshine,” which centres around a family road-tripping to a children’s beauty pageant.
1998: Miss Illinois, Kate Shindle
1999: Miss Virginia, Nicole Johnson
Johnson became the first Miss America with diabetes, and the first to use an insulin pump.
2000: Miss Kentucky, Heather French
French was the first Miss Kentucky to take the top honour.
2001: Miss Hawaii, Angela Perez Baraquio
When Baraquio was crowned, she became the first Asian American, first Filipino American, and first teacher to win Miss America.
2002: Miss Oregon, Katie Harman
Miss America 2002 happened just 11 days after the September 11 attacks – the contestants voted to continue on with the pageant instead of cancelling.
2003: Miss Illinois, Erika Harold
Harold ran for Congress in 2012, and is currently running for Illinois attorney general.
2004: Miss Florida, Ericka Dunlap
Dunlap and her husband competed on “The Amazing Race 15” in 2009. They placed third overall.
2005: Miss Alabama, Deidre Downs
Downs recently married her girlfriend in April 2018, making her the first Miss America to enter into a same sex marriage.
2006: Miss Oklahoma, Jennifer Berry
Berry was the first Miss America to be crowned in Las Vegas, Nevada.
2007: Miss Oklahoma, Lauren Nelson
Nelson began hosting “Discover Oklahoma,” a “statewide travel and tourism television program” in 2016.
2008: Miss Michigan, Kirsten Haglund
Haglund hosts The Sonder Podcast, which “features interviews with thought leaders in politics, faith, mental health, and culture.”
2009: Miss Indiana, Katie Stam
During the lead-up to Miss America 2009, TLC aired “Miss America: Countdown to the Crown,” in which viewers could vote for contestants to receive the Golden Sash, which would help them secure a place in the top 15. Stam was one of the four to win the Golden Sash.
2010: Miss Virginia, Caressa Cameron
Cameron supported the removal of former-CEO Sam Haskell, telling the Washington Post that “the organisation prevented her from participating in events related to her platform, HIV/AIDS prevention, and that she was once mistakenly copied on an email in which Haskell referred to her mother as ‘uneducated trash.'”
2011: Miss Nebraska, Teresa Scanlan
Scanlan was the youngest Miss America in 70 years – she was just 17 years old when she won the pageant.
2012: Miss Wisconsin, Laura Kaeppeler
In 2014, Kaeppeler married Mike Fleiss, the creator of “The Bachelor,” and its multiple spin-offs.
2013: Miss New York, Mallory Hagan
Hagan won the Democratic nomination for Alabama’s 3rd congressional district in June 2018.
2014: Miss New York, Nina Davuluri
Davuluri became a fan-favourite when she performed a Bollywood dance for her talent portion.
2015: Miss New York, Kira Kazantsev
Kazantsev was accused of hazing her sorority sisters before she was named Miss America, while she was a student at Hoftstra University. She claimed that she was terminated from her sorority for not attending a judiciary hearing – not hazing.
2016: Miss Georgia, Betty Cantrell
Cantrell met her now-husband, Spencer Maxwell, on Tinder.
2017: Miss Arkansas, Savvy Shields
At Miss America 2017, Vanessa Williams returned to the Miss America stage after resigning from her position in the ’80s. She received an official apology from the organisation, which had allegedly pressured her to resign after NSFW photos of hers appeared in Penthouse without her consent.
2018: Miss North Dakota, Cara Mund
Mund shook the Miss America Organisation when she published an open letter she wrote to her fellow Miss Americas detailing a year of alleged bullying, intimidation, and unhappiness while she was the reigning Miss America.
2019: Miss New York, Nia Franklin
Franklin was crowned Miss America on September 9, 2018, making her the fourth Miss New York to take the Miss America crown in seven years.
2020: Miss Virginia, Camille Schrier
Schrier’s talent during the pageant was conducting a chemical experiment on stage. She was crowned the newest Miss America on December 19.
- Read more:
- Photos show the emotional moment Miss Virginia Camille Schrier was crowned the winner of Miss America 2020
- People watching the revamped Miss America competition were thoroughly unimpressed
- The very first Miss America contest took place in 1921 – here’s what that first pageant was like
- 26 showstopping looks from the Miss America pageant over the years
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