Celebrating 60 Years of Miss Universe: 3rd Miss Universe 1954 Long Beach (CA). History!

by on December 15th, 2014
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1. Six countries and one dependency have expressed interest in competing on U.S. soil: Argentina, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Korea, New Zealand, and Singapore.

2. The MU contest begins in Long Beach, California (States). It is the third time, after 1952 and 1953, that America will host the competition.

3. Miss Maria Marta Hacker Rocha -the best-ever beauty queen in the history of Brazil– will become the first Brazilian woman to compete in the international competition.

4. There are thirty-three entries (winners of beauty contests in their own countries) at California.

5. The Kingdom of Thailand makes its international debut with Am-mara At-savanon. Thus, Thailand- known as Siam until the late 1930s-becomes the first country in Southeast Asia to send a delegate to the United States.

6. An overwhelming favorite in the pageant, Brazil’s contestant, Marilu Rocha, however, is first runner-up. She arrived in America with the firm intention to show that the world of beauty shouldn’t understimate her country in the years to come.

7. Golden Years for Hong Kong! Following an extraodinary participation in 1952, where the British colony was fourth with Miss Judy Dan, behind Finland’s Armi Kuusela, Hawaii’s exotic beauty Elza Kananionapua Edsman, and Greece’s venus Daisi Mavraki, the young Chinese Virginia Lee Wai-Chun -the best-ever contestant in the history of Hong Kong– is ranked third.

8. Jamaican-born Evelyn Laura Andrade becomes the first Caribbean beauty to represent the West Indies (a Federation makes up of three islands from the United Kingdom on the Caribbean -Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad).

9. Like Sweden and Finland, the United States emerges as a beauty power in California’54. A dream comes true! Miriam Jacqueline Stevenson from South Carolina avenged a loss suffered in Miss America 1953 (at the annual pageant in Atlantic City,NJ) by winning the MU surpassing confirmed beauties such as Marilu Rocha of Brazil (first runner-up and elected the “Most Popular Girl”) and Regina Ernst from Germany. She was crowned on July 24, 1954, succeeding France’s Christiane Martel. The former Miss South Carolina is also the first contestant from outside Western Europe (and from Alaska to Argentina) to win the world title. Stevenson’s performance served as an inspiration for many young American in the following years. United States’ best previous finish in the pageant was the second place in the Second MU in July 1953.

10. For unknown reasons, two beauty queens don’t compete in July 1954: Camila Rego of British Guiana -a place on the South American mainland– and Miss Hawaii Kapiolani Miller.

11. Miss Germany is third runner-up in the States and improves upon its fifth place finish in 1952 with Renate Hoy , a frontrunner at that global contest. She is so far the most beautiful delegate of Western Europe in Long Beach’57.

12. When Ragnhild Olausson places fifth in the global tournament, Sweden finally has come into their own as one of the world’s top leaders. The following year, the trophy was gained by the Scandinavian king.

13. Symbolically Marlene Becker is elected “Miss Welcome to Long Beach 1954″.

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