On this date, June 14, in 1970, Cheryl Adrienne Brown wins the Miss Iowa pageant and becomes the first African American to compete in the Miss America beauty pageant.
Cheryl Brown Hollingsworth, now of Lithonia, Ga., is married and the mother of two married children. She hopes to be in Davenport for tonight’s pageant.
Thirty years ago a pretty and talented ballet dancer from Iowa set the international press spinning when she became the first-ever African-American contestant in the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J.
The fact that she came from a conservative Midwestern state like Iowa was doubly astounding to those who were reporting on the pageant, and she drew attention not only from newspaper and magazine writers around the world but from the security forces in Atlantic City, who were quite visible during rehearsals in Convention Hall. [Continue reading.]