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American Experience; Miss America


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American Experience
Miss America
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered October 1988 As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation. Now in its eighteenth season, the series has produced over 180 programs and garnered every major broadcast award. Series release date: 10/1988

Program Description

Tracking the country's oldest beauty contest -- from its inception in 1921 as a local seaside pageant to its heyday as one of the country's most popular events -- this program paints a picture of an institution that has come to reveal much about a changing nation. The pageant itself is about commercialism and sexual politics, about big business and small towns. But beyond the symbolism lies a human story -- at once moving, inspiring, infuriating, funny and poignant. Using interviews with former contestants and behind-the-scenes footage and photographs, the film reveals why some women took part in the fledgling event and why others shunned it -- how the pageant became a battleground and a barometer of the changing position of women in society.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “American Experience; Miss America,” 12/21/2001, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 18, 2018, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_C68F3908D31F4FD5911148A7CB50EFDF.
MLA: “American Experience; Miss America.” 12/21/2001. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 18, 2018. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_C68F3908D31F4FD5911148A7CB50EFDF>.
APA: American Experience; Miss America. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_C68F3908D31F4FD5911148A7CB50EFDF
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