#TBT The First Miss Universe Pageant

Alexandra Perron
·Editor
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Photo: George Silk/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

In 1952 the first Miss Universe pageant was held in Long Beach, California. A total of 30 contestants competed in the pageant, which was started by California clothing company Pacific Mills. At the time, the pageant was combined with Miss USA, which means Miss Utah and Miss Hong Kong were sharing a stage.

Photo: George Silk/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

The 1952 title went to 17-year-old Armi Kuusela of Finland and Miss Congeniality was a tie between Myriam Lynn of Belgium and Valerie Johnson of Montana. After seeing these photos, we’re definitely planning to tune into the 63rd Miss Universe pageant on Sunday.