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Primary Sources: 1948 Pageant Contract

Pageant organizers have drawn up contracts over the years for sponsors of local contests. This one, from 1948, includes the notorious rule number 7 barring non-white women from competing.

CONTRACT
Between Official Franchise Holder And Miss America Pageant
For Conducting Local Contests To Name A Candidate To Be
Entered In The National Finals For the Selection Of

Miss America, 1948
Atlantic City, N.J., September 6th to 13th

(Name of Franchise Holder) of (Street Address) (City and State) hereby accept the exclusive rights to sponsor and conduct the territorial contests within the territory listed as follows: (Name of Territory)

We hereby agree to sponsor, promote and finance fair and unbiased contests within the territory assigned to us, according to the rules and regulations set forth in this contract.

We agree that we will not assume any obligations locally for or on behalf of the Miss America Pageant, and we thoroughly understand that the Miss America Pageant is in no way obligated to pay for any debts or fulfill any promises made by us in conducting our local preliminary contests.

We agree to pay first class transportation to Atlantic City and return of winning candidate from our territory and to see that she arrives in Atlantic City not later than 6 P.M. on Monday, September 6th, 1948.

We agree to provide winning candidate with $10.00 in cash for incidentals in Atlantic City, and to also provide her with sufficient money for meals while enroute.

We agree to furnish winning candidate from our territory with a maximum of four evening gowns and a minimum of three evening gowns to wear in the national contest.

We agree to mention the $25,000 Scholarship awards which will be given sixteen 1948 Miss America contestants at the National Finals, in all promotional material used in conducting our preliminary and final contests and to acknowledge the donors of this Scholarship Foundation. We understand that these companies are:

(Company Name)
(Company Name)

We also agree to furnish the Miss America Pageant with copy of each piece of said advertising and promotional material used.

We agree that in judging preliminary and final contests to select our candidate for the National Finals, we shall follow the national contest method of judging, copy of which we have received and acknowledge herewith.

We agree that if for any reason contestant winning our official final contest is disqualified or released from appearing in the Miss America Finals at Atlantic City, then the next choice of the judges shall be considered the winner of our contest.

We agree to abide by the following rules and regulations for selecting contestants:

1. Contestant must be resident of city, state, or territory in which local contest is held for six months prior to contest. This rule is only waived for contestants whose residence is out of the city or state, but who is a college or university student in city or state where contests is held and at time contest is held. She may not compete in more than one Official Preliminary Contest each year.

2. Contestant must be single and never have been married, divorced, or had marriage annulled.

3. Contestant must be high school graduate or a senior attending high school at time of contest.

4. Contestant's age on September 1, 1948 shall be not less than eighteen, and more than twenty-eight years.

5. Contestant must be of good character and possess poise, personality, intelligence, charm, and beauty of face and figure.

6. Contestant must possess and display in a three minute routine TALENT. This talent may be singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument, dramatic reading, or she may give a three minute talk...

7. Contestant must be in good health and of the white race.

8. Contestant may be either amateur or professional.

The Miss America Pageant agrees to accept our candidate in their National Finals in Atlantic City, September 6th of 1948, and to furnish hotel accommodations and meals for her during the week...



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