Miss America 1938, the 12th Miss America pageant, was held at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 10, 1938. The decision by the 15 judges there that Miss Ohio, Marilyn Meseke, rather than Miss California, Claire James, as Miss America surprised the audience at the event. Famous Broadway producer Earl Carroll, Murder at the Vanities, also disagreed with their choice and took the runner-up to New York where he performed a coronation of Miss California as "the true Miss America" shortly after the official pageant. Carroll's actions resulted in widespread publicity of the incident.
- ^ "'Beautiful But Dumb' Legend Haunts Miss America 1938". Chester Times. 1938-09-12. p. 7.
- ^ Associated Press (1938-09-12). "Producer Carroll Differs in Choice of Miss America". Oshkosh Daily Northwestern. p. 5.
- ^ Associated Press Wire Photo (1938-09-12). "Meet Miss America - Both of 'Em". Oakland Tribune. p. 5.
- Saulino Osborne, Angela (1995). "Miss Americas and their Courts". Miss America The Dream Lives On. Taylor Publishing Company. ISBN 0-87833-110-7.