Miss America 1938 and Miss Ohio Twice


Marilyn Meseke held the title of Miss Ohio twice, first in 1931 and then in 1938. She was only 14 when she won the title Miss Ohio 1931. There was no Miss America competition in 1931. She was crowned Miss America in 1938. While still a child, she exhibited a talent for dance and received formal dance instruction throughout her childhood; she later became a tap dance instructor, using the family’s living room as her studio. 1938 was the first year that talent became a scoring event in the competition which was fortutitous as Meseke was a talented tap dancer. While her hometown listened to the pageant on the radio, Meseke won the crown on September 10, 1938. The event also marked the first time that movie audience could see a Miss America being crowned through news reel footage shown the week following the event. Meseke’s return to Marion, OH on September 29, 1938 included a night time parade attended by 30,000 well wishers from hometown and surrounding communities.


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