Oh, I wish I'd known about this. Galveston Island’s "legendary Bathing Beauties Pageant" was resurrected on Saturday (5/16/09). History from Galveston Beach Revue (quote in green):
Dubbed the "Pageant of Pulchritude" by C.E. Barfield, the Galveston beauty contest began in the summer of 1920 and from then on marked the kick-off for tourist season each year. By 1928, the event (which had morphed into the "bathing girl revue") had become so popular, the Island's population was said to have tripled during the event weekend. These Island pageants are said to have been the beginning of what we know today as the Miss America Contest.
Being a BOI (refers to those "Born on Island"), as they say, and having grown up on the Island, I am fascinated with its history. I love hearing especially about the era when it was a prototype for the kind of a town places like Las Vegas, Nevada, would eventually become. The Galveston I knew was so different from that, but you could still get a sense (more like a vibe) of what it had been like.
Had I known about this event's rebirth, I might have been able to get some excellent pictures, such as this one from The Galveston Daily News photographer Kevin Cox:
Dana Blue of Houston twirls her umbrella for the judges during the vintage-inspired swimwear competition of the Galveston Island Beach Revue on the beach at 33rd Street on Saturday afternoon. She won second place. (The Galveston Daily News)