Mrs. America Pageant is a beauty competition that was established to honor married women throughout the United States of America. Each of the contestants representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia range in age from their 20s to 50s and earns the right to participate in the national event by winning her state competition. These state events are under the direction of Mrs. America state directors. The winner goes on to compete in the Mrs. World pageant.
Mrs. America, Inc., celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2016. The pageant has been televised on networks including PAX and WE (Women's Entertainment); in May 2011, it was carried by the My Family TV network.
On August 29, 2014, the pageant was held in Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Arizona. The pageant moved to its original pageant home, Las Vegas - Westgate Hotel Hotel and Casino.
During the 2014 pageant, Mrs. America, Inc., announced that it would be participating in a joint Russian-American contest to be held in Sevastopol, Crimea. This has caused some controversy, since Crimea is recognized by most countries in the world as Ukrainian territory that has been annexed by Russia. The 2015 joint pageant was supposed to mark the 25th anniversary of a joint U.S.-Soviet Mrs. America contest held in Moscow in 1989 to foster good will between the two countries; however, organizers announced that due to the devaluation of the ruble against the American dollar, the pageant would have to find a new site.
2004: Traci Clemens, Mrs. Rhode Island, competed while six months pregnant with twins. She was the first visibly pregnant woman to compete in the nationally televised event. Traci Clemens is the first and only African American contestant to win her state title. Traci has made double pageant history.
Titleholders are designated by year of title/reign; competitions are held the preceding fall.
|Title Year||Name||State||Placement at Mrs. World||Notes|
|1979||Carrie Gabriel Strom||New Jersey|
|1980||Carol Anne McEwen||Texas|
|1981||Paddy Boyd Argovitz||Louisiana|
|1984||Deborah Wolfe||West Virginia||1st runner up||Mother of Miss West Virginia Teen USA 2004 Mary Ellen Wolfe, and made top 10 in Miss America 1980|
|1987||Pamela Nail||Mississippi||Mrs. World|
|Suzy Katz||California||N/A||Originally 1st runner-up to Pamela Nail in 1987, ascended to Mrs. America when Pamela Nail won Mrs. World|
|1988||Jennifer Kline||Minnesota||2nd runner-up|
|1992||Dr. Doris Martineaux Dalton||Pennsylvania|
|1993||Keyna Baucom||North Carolina|
|1995||Kimberly Brasher||Oklahoma||1st runner up||Ms Idaho|
|1997||Lisa Lilenthal||New York|
|1999||Starla Stanley||Utah||Mrs. World|
|Stacy Willis||Alabama||N/A||Originally 1st runner-up, ascended to title when Starla Stanley won Mrs. World|
|2001||Nicole Brink||Indiana||Mrs. World||Previously Miss Indiana Teen USA 1992 (semifinalist in Miss Teen USA 1992) and Miss Indiana USA 1998 under her maiden name, Nicole Llewellyn.|
|2002||Laurett Ellsworth Arenz||Virginia||N/A||Originally 1st runner-up, ascended to title when Nicole Brink won Mrs. World. Went on to host a National financial radio program: HERO'S Talk Radio, Freedom Financial Network  and write an award-winning book: The RAFT Strategy: How to Build Your Tax-Free Nest Egg Without Risk|
|2003||Kristi Phillips||Alabama||3rd runner up||Was Mrs. America®, Mrs. Congeniality and the TRIMSPA Dream Body Winner.|
|2005||Julie Love-Templeton||Alabama||3rd runner up|
|2006||Andrea Pruess||California||Previously Miss Virginia Teen USA 1992 & Miss Virginia 1995 (dethroned) under her maiden name, Andrea Ballengee. Mrs. United States 2003. Filmed for television at the Palm Springs Riviera Resort & Racquet Club in Palm Springs, California|
|2007||Diane Tucker||Arizona||Mrs. World|
|Marney Duckworth||Colorado||N/A||Originally 1st runner-up, ascended to title when Diane Tucker won Mrs. World. Previously Miss Nebraska Teen USA 1992 under her maiden name Marney Monson|
|2008||Kelly McBee||Wyoming||Top 10|
|2009||Maureen MacDonald||North Carolina|
|2012||April Lufriu||Florida||Mrs. World||First-generation American (parents from Honduras)|
|Lara Leimana Fonoimoana||Hawaii||Originally 1st runner-up, ascended to title when April Lufriu won Mrs. World|
|2013||Vicki Sarber||Alaska||Formerly Miss Alaska American Coed 1992-Placed 2nd Runner-Up at National Competition in Honolulu, Hawaii. 1990 Miss Alaska Teen of the Year. Placed 1st Runner Up at National Competition in New Orleans, La.|
|2014||Austen (Brown) Williams||Texas||Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2002 (Miss Congeniality)|
|2015||Michelle Nicole Evans||Oklahoma|
|2016||Madeline (Mitchell) Gwin||Alabama||Former Miss Alabama USA 2011 and 2nd runner up for Miss USA 2011|
|2018||Mekayla (Diehl) Eppers||Indiana||Former Miss Indiana USA 2014 and top 20 at Miss USA 2014|
|2019||Nicole (Rash) Cook||Illinois||Former Miss Indiana 2007 and 1st runner up to Miss America 2008; Former Mrs. Illinois 2014|
Some contestants in the Mrs. America pageant have previously held state pageant titles in the Miss USA, Miss America, Mrs. United States, and Miss Teen USA pageants. They include:
- Mrs. Delaware 1985 - Debi Teed Fenimore (née Dow) - Miss Delaware National Teenager 1972
- Mrs. North Carolina 1997 - Janice McQueen Ward - Mrs. United States 1999
- Mrs. Indiana 2000 & Mrs. America 2001 - Nicole (Llewellyn) Brink - Miss Indiana Teen USA 1992 & Miss Indiana USA 1998
- Mrs. Virginia 2001 & Mrs. America 2002 - Laurett Ellsworth Arenz - Mrs. Virginia United States & Mrs. United States 1997
- Mrs. Pennsylvania 2001 - Dr. Lori Sundberg - Mrs. Pennsylvania International 1999, Mrs. Pennsylvania United States 2000 & Mrs. District of Columbia United States 2014
- Mrs. Colorado 2002 - Emily (Weeks) Stark - Miss Colorado USA 1995
- Mrs. Arizona 2004 - Britt (Powell) Boyse - Miss Missouri USA 1995 - Top 12 Miss USA 1995
- Mrs. Idaho 2004 - Amanda (Greenway) Peterson - Miss Idaho Teen USA 1992
- Mrs. Iowa 2004 - Jamie (Solinger) Patterson - Miss Iowa Teen USA 1992 - Miss Teen USA 1992, & Miss Iowa USA 1998
- Mrs. Kansas 2004 - Kimberlee (Girrens) Easter - Miss Kansas Teen USA 1986 & Miss Kansas USA 1992
- Mrs. Maryland 2004 - Nikki Karl - Mrs. Maryland International 2003
- Mrs. Massachusetts 2004 - Claire (DeSimone) O'Connor - Miss Rhode Island USA 1999
- Mrs. Minnesota 2004 - Melissa (Hall) Young - Miss Minnesota USA 1997
- Mrs. New Hampshire 2004 - Stephanie (Foisy) Mills - Miss New Hampshire 1995
- Mrs. Texas 2004 - Jennifer (Craig) Palmieri - Miss Georgia USA 1996
- Mrs. West Virginia 2004 - Amanda (Burns) Duffy - Miss West Virginia Teen USA 1997 & Miss West Virginia USA 1999
- Mrs. Pennsylvania 2005 - Kandace Gary - Mrs. Pennsylvania United States 2002
- Mrs. South Carolina 2005 - Angela Hughes-Singleton - Miss South Carolina 1996
- Mrs. California 2005 & Mrs. America 2006 - Andrea (Ballengee) Preuss - Miss Virginia Teen USA 1992 - Miss Virginia 1995 (dethroned) - Mrs. United States 2003
- Mrs. Maine 2006 - Heather (Coutts) Clark - Miss Maine USA 1999
- Mrs. Minnesota 2006 - Holly (Henderson) Ernst - Mrs. Minnesota International 2003, Mrs. Minnesota United States 2009/2002, Miss Wisconsin World America 1993, Miss Wisconsin U.S. Teen 1990 - Miss Junior Wisconsin 1989
- Mrs. New Hampshire 2006 - Jessica Plante - Mrs. Massachusetts International 2008
- Mrs. Florida 2007 - Jamie Converse-Estrada - Miss Florida USA 1998
- Mrs. Illinois 2007 - Hallie (Bonnell) Thompson - Miss Ohio USA 1987
- Mrs. Maryland 2007 - Adrienne Watson Carver - Mrs. Maryland United States 2006
- Mrs. North Carolina 2007 - Kathryn Hancock-Stuart - Miss South Carolina Teen USA 1990
- Mrs. Oregon 2007 - Kimberly (Stubblefield) Takla - Miss Oregon USA 1986
- Mrs. Pennsylvania 2007 - Allison Dalcamo - Mrs. Pennsylvania United States 2005
- Mrs. Tennessee 2007 - Christina (Lam) Ryan - Miss Illinois USA 1999
- Mrs. Utah 2007 - Heather (Henderson) Osmond - Miss Utah Teen USA 1994
- Mrs. Florida 2008 - Jaclyn (Nesheiwat) Stapp - Miss New York USA 2004
- Mrs. Michigan 2008 - Sara Dusendang-Moylan - Miss Michigan Teen USA 1999
- Mrs. Connecticut 2009 - Melanie (Mudry) Varian - Miss Connecticut USA 2007
- Mrs. District of Columbia 2009 - Deanna McCray James - Mrs. Maryland United States 2005
- Mrs. Massachusetts 2009 - Rosalie Allain-Morris - Miss Massachusetts USA 2000
- Mrs. Missouri 2009 & Mrs. America 2010 - Andrea Robertson (Mrs. Missouri United States 2002)
- Mrs. Pennsylvania 2009 - Joyelle Scavone - Mrs. Pennsylvania United States 2006
- Mrs. Vermont 2009 - Jennifer (Ripley) Bisson - Miss Vermont Teen USA 1999 & Miss Vermont USA 2003
- Mrs. Arizona 2010 - Corrie (Hill) Francis - Miss Arizona 2003
- Mrs. Colorado 2010 - Shalon (Pecosky) Polson - Miss Colorado Teen USA 1990
- Mrs. District of Columbia 2010 - Regena Robinson - Mrs. Maryland United States 2008
- Mrs. Florida 2010 - Kellie Lightbourn - Miss Virginia USA 1999
- Mrs. Hawaii 2010 - Alicia Michioka-Jones - Miss Hawaii USA 2003 - Top 10 Miss USA 2003
- Mrs. Michigan 2010 - Stephanie Hunt - Miss United Teenager 1982 - Mrs. United States 2007
- Mrs. New York 2010 - Meaghan (Jarensky) Castaldi - Miss New York USA 2005 - Top 10 Miss USA 2005
- Mrs. Texas 2010 - Shannon (Schambeau) Patterson - Miss District of Columbia 2005 - 4th Runner Up Miss America 2005
- Mrs. Ohio 2011 - Melanie (Murphy) Miller - Miss Ohio 2006
- Mrs. Alaska 2012 - Vicki Sarber - Miss Alaska American Coed 1992 - 2nd Runner Up Miss American Coed 1992 - Miss Alaska Teen of the Year 1990 - 1st Runner Up Miss Teen of the Year 1990
- Mrs. Pennsylvania 2012 - Susan Huntley - Mrs. Pennsylvania United States 2010, Mrs. Pennsylvania International 2009
- Mrs. Texas 2013 - Austen (Brown) Williams - Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2002 - Miss Congeniality Miss Teen USA 2002
- Mrs. Delaware 2013 - Christine Rich - Mrs. Delaware United States 2015 - Top 15 Mrs. United States 2015
- Mrs. Illinois 2013 - Stephanie (Daughenbaugh) Piller - Ms. Galaxy International 2010
- Mrs. Illinois 2014/Mrs. Illinois 2018 & Mrs. America 2019 - Nicole (Rash) Cook - Miss Indiana 2007 - 1st Runner Up Miss America 2008
- Mrs. Massachusetts 2014- Monique (Jones) Taylor- Miss Massachusetts Teen USA 2000- Ms. Massachusetts United States 2012- 1st Runner Up Ms. United States 2012
- Mrs. Alabama 2015 - Madeilne (Mitchell) Gwin - Miss Alabama USA 2011 - 2nd Runner Up Miss USA 2011
- Mrs. Colorado 2015 - Mette (Boving) Castor - Miss Louisiana 1997 - Top 10 Miss America 1998
- Mrs. Iowa 2015 - Jessica (Lawrence) Gardner - Miss Iowa USA 2003
- Mrs. Maryland 2015 - Su Joing (Drakeford) Sollers - Miss Nebraska USA 2001
- Mrs. New Jersey 2015 - Erin (Abrahamson) Molinaro - Miss New Jersey USA 2007 - Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2001
- Mrs. Pennsylvania 2015 - Kate Schartel Novak - Mrs. Pennsylvania United States 2011
- Mrs. Texas 2015 - Melissa Pocza - Mrs. Texas America 2009 - Mrs. Texas United States 2011 - 3rd Runner Up Mrs. United States 2011 - Mrs. Michigan International - Mrs. International 2017
- Mrs. Idaho 2016 - Christi (Weible) van Ravenhorst - Miss Idaho 2001
- Mrs. Georgia 2016 - Onica (Williams) Blaize - Miss Guyana USA 1995
- Mrs. Indiana 2017 - Mekayla (Diehl) Eppers - Miss Indiana USA 2014 - Top 20 Miss USA 2014
- Mrs. Idaho 2018 - Kimberly (Weible) Zweiger - Miss Idaho USA 2004 - Top 10 Miss USA 2004
- Mrs. South Carolina 2018 - Anna (Hanks) Hewitt - Miss South Carolina USA 2003 - Top 10 Miss USA 2003
Prior to the current Mrs. America pageant, there was an earlier pageant of the same name. The pageant was created by public relations executive Bert Nevins in 1936 as a promotion for his client, Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey. When Nevins sold the pageant in 1963, it was the only nationally televised beauty pageant for married women.
By 1964, participants were graded on cooking, sewing, ironing, party preparation and other homemaking abilities, family psychology, grooming, poise, personality, and general attractiveness. Winners included:
Source: online newspaper archives
- 1938: Margaret Chamberlain, Ohio (appeared on Family Feud in 1980)
- 1939: Theresa Papp, New Jersey 
- 1940: Evelyn Schmitt, New Jersey
- 1941: Ruth Licklider, New York
- 1942: Peggie Diehl, Minnesota?
- 1943–46: no pageant (World War II)
- 1947: Janice Pollock, Ohio; then Fredda Acker, South Carolina (after Pollock abdicated)
- 1948: Maria Strohmeier, Pennsylvania
- 1949: Frances Cloyd, California
- 1950: Betty McAllister, Pennsylvania
- 1952: Penny Duncan, New York; Peggy Creel, Florida (judges' contest winner, Creel was the winner; but Duncan was announced)
- 1953: Evelyn Joyce Schenk, New Jersey
- 1954: Erna Snyder, Pennsylvania
- 1955: Wanda Jennings, Missouri 
- 1956: Ramona Deitemeyer, Nebraska (Was on What's My Line May 22, 1955)
- 1957: Cleo Maletis, Oregon
- 1958: Lynwood Finley, District of Columbia
- 1959: Helen Giesse, Ohio
- 1960: Margaret Priebe, Iowa
- 1961: Mrs. George Murphy, Indiana
- 1962: Lila Masson, Michigan
- 1963: Marilyn Mitchell, California
- 1964: Deseree Jenkins, South Carolina
- 1965: Alice Buehner, Utah
- 1966: Joy Noufer, Texas
- 1967: Marlene Cochran, Kansas
- 1968: Joan Fisher, Utah
- Mrs. America website
- Salon News "Mrs. America goes to Crimea: The pageant that once tried to be trailblazing is a disaster" Sep 5, 2014
- Russia Today "Mrs. America 2015 to be held in Crimea, Miss Ukrainian Diaspora pageant objects" Sep 6, 2014
- Moscow News: "Mrs. America Defies Politics and Brings Beauty Pageant to Crimea" Sep 5, 2014
- UN Website
- Mrs. America Titleholders, pageantcenter.com
- West Virginia 2004 Archived 2012-09-27 at the Wayback Machine., TFTJ
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-12-11. Retrieved 2008-09-03.
- Palm Springs Desert Cities Virtual Film Office: Filmed in the Desert Cities
- "2005 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010.
- "Mrs America 2010 Results". Mrs. America Pageant. Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- "2010 Mrs America". Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- "2009 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010.
- "2008 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010.
- "2007 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010.
- "2006 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010.
- "2004 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010.
- New York Times, July 20, 1966
- (appeared in Greyhound Scenicruiser ads and christened the first one with champagne in July 1954 in Pontiac, Michigan; "Mrs. America (Wanda Jennings, of Saint Louis, Missouri) broke a traditional bottle of champagne on the front bumper of F-701 (serial 002)."
- Ramona Deitemeyer Archived 2008-07-14 at the Wayback Machine.
- Growing Up In The 1950s, the (Portland) Oregonian. The "Mrs. America" title held by Mrs. Maletis is apparently not the same as the one that is the subject of this article, because Mrs. America, Inc. reportedly celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2007, making 1977 the first title in the current series. Mrs. Maletis is not listed on the official Mrs. America, Inc. website. See Mrs. America Incorporated, History