Celebrating 60 Years of Miss Universe: First Miss Universe 1952. History!

1.Trying to put Long Beach (CA) onto world map, the Californians host the international competition.

2.The event is still in the early stages. Only twenty-six countries and four territories (Alaska, Hawaii, Hong Kong, and Puerto Rico) show up. Within a few years, the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) aims to have more countries participating in the contest.

3.The contest is strictly limited to single women.

4.The panel of judges includes figures such as Constance Moore, Vincent Trotta, Milo Anderson, Gilbert Roland, Yucca Salamunich, Arlene Dahl, Robert Palmer, Samuel Heavenrich, Robert Goldstein, and Torn Kelly.

5.The newly established state of Israel participates at Long Beach.

6.Finland starts well! Armi Kuusela, a born-beauty queen, makes first trip to the United States of America (Long Beach,CA) as Miss Finland and captures the global title,leaving behind pre-pageant favorites such as Miss Germany (Renate Hoy) and Miss Uruguay (Gladys Rubio Fajardo) as well as Miss Italy (Giovanna Mazzotti) and Miss USA (Jacqueleen “Jackie” Loughery). Few observers will forget Kuusela’s victory. Scandinavia’s win is a prelude to a future of success (between 1952 and 1986, Finland was a major international power, gaining important rankings and special awards, but their international position subsequently declined). Armi Kuusela was universal queen from 28 June 1952 to 17 July 1953.

7.In California, ten elite beauty queens from Africa (South Africa), Asia (Hong Kong), Europe (Finland, Germany, Greece, Sweden), Oceania (Hawaii) and the Americas (Mexico, USA, Uruguay) participated in the semi-finals.

8.The Republic of Cuba becomes one of the first countries from Latin America to participate in Long Beach.

9.Surprisingly Hong Kong’s top beauty queen Judy Dan finishes fourth, becoming the first Asian contestant to reach the finals. HK is a dependency within the British Commonwealth of Nations since 1842 (until 1997).

10. Before winning their status as an American State on August 21, 1959, Hawaii competes as a U.S territory at the Miss Universe 1952, finishing second (behind Finland’s Armi Kuusela) with its delegate Elza Kananionapua Edsman,heralding an interesting future for the island’s exotic and multi-racial beauties: As well as placing third at the 1958 MU under Geri Hoo’s leadership, Hawaii won three Miss USA between 1962 and 1978 when it already was a State, becoming the most pageant powerhouse in America together with Illinois. Towards the end of the 20th century, a Hawaiian called Brook Mahealani Lee –whose name figures as one of the most famous islanders in the World Almanac and Books of Facts-was crowned Miss Universe at Miami Beach (FL), upon her win over Marena Bencomo from Venezuela.

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