Over fifty newspapers from across the country sent representatives to compete in the “Inter-City Beauty” contest. She was expected to defend her numerous 1921 laurels as the returning champ.
In the end, it was Mary Katherine Campbell, “Miss Columbus” (OH) who was selected to succeed Margaret. It was estimated that three hundred thousand people attended.
The event had become so big, results of the prize-winners were later aired nationwide via radio.Although never before seen as a problem, concern arose over the fact that a leading contender for the “Miss” America title was a married woman.They competed against the winners of “professional” and “amateur” ranks, representing over two hundred women, for the elusive Golden Mermaid.Riding on a wave of popularity from the previous day, Margaret Gorman won this event, too.As America moved headlong from the Victorian to the modern age, a new image for women developed, symbolizing the changing times.
According to leading magazines and periodicals of the time, the modern woman was vigorous. This was an unprecedented break from the rigorously controlled physicality prescribed for the ideal 19th century woman, with its emphasis on delicacy and fragility.At a newspaper circulation manager’s meeting in Philadelphia, nine East Coast newspapers decided to hold photographic “popularity contests” from among their readerships to increase their circulations.Subsequent city finalists would be judged on personality and social graces during citywide summer events.They would become known as the Inter-City Beauties.Each individual winner’s prize would be an all expense paid trip to Atlantic City’s Second Annual Fall Frolic as an honored guest.Lesser awards to finalists include swimwear and trophies by designer Annette Kellerman, a woman widely known for her scandalous 1907 arrest for indecent exposure.