Atlantic City, New Jersey: Home of the Miss America PageantThe Miss America Pageant was invented in Atlantic City in 1921. When Atlantic City got old and didn't look so good in a swimsuit, the pageant moved to Vegas. This plaque was all that remained until 2013, when the pageant returned.
- 2301 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ
- The plaque is bolted to one of the columns in front of Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall (the old Atlantic City Convention Center), facing the Boardwalk, just south of S. Mississippi Ave.
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Home of the Miss America Pageant
In 1921 Atlantic City invented the Miss America Pageant as a way to extend the tourist season one week past Labor Day. For over 80 years it was held at the Atlantic City Convention Center, which understandably thought that the relationship would never end. In 1987 the Convention Center unveiled a plaque bolted to one of its entrance pillars, proclaiming itself "Home of the Miss America Pageant" and praising the event's "love affair with Atlantic City."
The love affair ended in 2004, after TV ratings for the pageant fell so low that the broadcast for 2005 was cancelled. Miss America packed up and moved to Las Vegas. No longer shackled by New Jersey's climate, it was rescheduled for January, a much better ratings period for televised beauty contests.
Spurned, Atlantic City took its "Miss America Way" street and renamed it "Convention Boulevard." But it kept the plaque. For eight lonely years the plaque was all that remained of Miss America. But in 2013 the beauty queens realized the errors of their ways. The pageant returned to Atlantic City. Although green with age, the Home of the Miss America Pageant plaque was relevant again.
Even though the plaque was unveiled in the late 1980s, the Miss America on it resembles a mid-1970s Farrah Fawcett-Majors. It's conveniently placed at eye level, so visitors can strike their own toothy pageant poses next to the bronze beauty queen.[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 05/01/2011]