Celebrating 60 Years of Miss Universe: 8th Miss Universe 1959 Long Beach (CA). History!

1.Long Beach (California,US) to host thirty-four beauties from thirty-four countries and territories for MU pageant.

2.Asia wins crown at MU. Despite being underestimated by specialists at Long Beach, Japan’s contestant Akiko Kojima, a former runway model at Tokyo, makes history when she is declared MU (after beating Miss Norway Jorunn Kristjansen in the finals), giving Asia their first title. She was crowned on July 24, 1959, succeeding Luz Marina Zuluaga of Colombia. Some years back it would have been impossible to imagine a MU from Japan. It is a sign of how lively competition is at the top level in the world. Certainly there are not small rivals at Miss Universe.Thus Japan had transformed itself from a perennial also-ran into one of the world’s top leaders. The country’s best previous finish in the pageant was the fifth place in the pageant in the mid-1950s. Between 1957 and 1958, Japan made the list for the second round.

3.Miss Zuzanna Cembrowska puts Poland in the top 15 on U.S. soil. Historically, the young Miss Poland Universe 1959 is the only beauty queen in Communist East Europe up to the mid-1960s as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia sent their first delegates to Miss World at London (United Kingdom).

4.Italy has a great chance to win the trophy! Italian-born delegate Maria Grazia Buccella – the best-ever beauty queen in the history of Italy– goes to Long Beach as favorite to win the crown in the 34-country tournament. Without a doubt, she is Europe’s best hope of reaching the finals. She was looking forward to the great day. Blessed with blonde cover-girl looks, Buccella wants to repeat Sweden’s title in the 1955 MU and to become the first Italian to earn the global trophy. But all of her efforts fail. Buccella’s chances for international win appears to be ruined as she did not make the top 15. The results are not accepted by several Italians. Though Buccella returned without the MU title, she found international stardom as one of the most respected actresses in Italy in the following decades.

5. Miss Than Than Aye will be the first woman to represent the Asian republic of Burma –then known as Myanmar– in Miss Universe. Thus the Union of Burma becomes the second country in Southeast Asia to send a candidate to California.

6. A born-beauty queen, Vera Ribeiro of Brazil is fourth runner-up, finishing an important decade for South American nation.Throughout the 1950sm 1960s and into 1970s, Brazil emerged as a beauty power.

7.After three years,Belgium reaches the semis at MU.

8.The Kingdom of Thailand –a legendary country in Southeast Asia and well-known for Hollywood’s movie “King and I”– gains Miss Congeniality title;its first ever championship with its national candidate Sondsai Venitwatana.

9.United States’ representative Terry Lynn Huntingdon finishes third,well ahead of Miss England Pamela Anne Searle and Brazil’s queen Vera Regina Ribeiro.

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