Long Beach (CA) to host thirty-three beauties (winners of beauty contests in their own countries) from thirty-three nations and territories for MU pageant.
2. All on eyes on Miss El Salvador. Before the heydays of Latin America, a Central American girl is thrust into the spotlight by the mid-1950s as one of the most spectacular beauties. Her name: Maribel Arrieta Galvez . Since then, she, whose popularity soared when won the Miss Congeniality title, paving the way for future winners from the Spanish-speaking world (Gladys Zender, Luz Marina Zuluaga , Norma Nolan,etc).
3. After posing for photographs at Long Beach, El Salvador’s national delegate Maribel Arrieta Galvez is the huge favorite to capture the worldwide trophy. Arrieta has become the darling by the international media and pageant experts due to her striking facial resemblance to Hollywood Star Marilyn Monroe.
4. The winner will be announced on July 22, 1955 , with Miss USA hoping to pip favorite Miss El Salvador, Maribel Arrieta -often referred to as one of the Spanish-speaking World’s most beautiful girls– at the post.
5. More about Maribel Arrieta….The biggest stunner is Miss El Salvador’s loss to Miss Sweden in the finals (the first ever MU final to be contested between European and Latin American opponents). But it taught Miss Arrieta Galvez a lesson she has never forgotten: the word favorite doesn’t mean much in Miss Universe! In fact, MU 1955 was one of the most significant defeats ever inflicted on Latin America. Sun-bronzed blonde Arrieta must be bracketed with Maria Marta Hacker Rocha (Miss Brazil 1954), Alicja Brobonska (Miss Poland 1958), Mariela Perez (Miss Venezuela 1967), Jacqueline Gamarra Sckett (Miss Bolivia 1975), Lolita Morena (Miss Switzerland 1983), Benita Mureka (Miss Zaire 1985), Zhuo Ling (Miss China 2002), Kurara Chibana (Miss Japan 2006), and Flaviana Matata (Miss Tanzania 2007) as the best ten national beauties who didnÂ´t win the global tournament.
6. Central America makes history! As well as being first runner-up with Arrieta of El Salvador, two entries from the region compete at the semis: Honduras’ Pastora Pagan Valenzuela and Guatemala’s Maria del Rosario Molina Chacon.
7. Hillevi Rombin, who stands 1,68m, becomes first woman from Sweden (second in Scandinavia, third in Europe) to win the event, succeeding Miriam Stevenson of the States. She admires her countrywoman Greta Garbo, among the world’s top actresses. In addition to Swedish, she speaks four foreign languages: Spanish, French, German, and English.
8. A world-class rival from Ceylon (later Sri Lanka), Maureen Neliya Hingert, finishes second runner-up on U.S. soil. She -the best-ever beuty queen in the history of the island– is so far the most beautiful delegate of Asia at Long Beach’55. After this achievement, however, Ceylon –a multi-ethnic country– became less competitive and did not qualify for the semi-finals in the following decades.
9. Miss Germany matches its best finish with the fourth-place position also won one year earlier.
10. For the fourth time in a row, host USA qualifies for the semis.
11. Swedish-born Hillevi Rombin, the new MU, goes to Santiago de Chile (South America) for a visit in December.
12. The 5 thMiss Universe 1956 is scheduled to be held in Long Beach.