Vanessa Williams is known as the Miss America who was different from all other Miss Americas in 4 ways. #1, she is Black, #2, she actually has talent, # 3, she went on to have a successful career as a singer, songwriter, actress, record producer, film producer and fashion model, and #4, she was the only Miss America forced to resign her title because of some nude photographs she had taken a few years earlier. All of which makes Vanessa Williams the Best Miss America Ever, and today

                                                  NATIONAL NUDE MISS AMERICA DAY!

Sure she’s a beautiful woman, but all Miss Americas are beautiful women. Some of them are smart (Ms Williams included), and some are even interesting (another area where she leaves them in the dust).

Born in Millwood, New York and educated at Syracuse University, Vanessa Lynn Williams was the daughter of music teachers who studied piano and French Horn as a child, but was most interested in singing and songwriting.

Her stunning beauty led her into beauty pageants, and she won the Miss Syracuse Pageant, then Miss New York State before entering and winning the Big Enchilada of beauty pageants, Miss America, the first Black woman to win that honor, which did not sit right with some people in Reagan’s America, much of which represented a nasty backlash to the exciting progress made in Civil Rights over the previous 20 years.

Some viewed Ms. Williams’ selection as a rebuke to those who would turn back the racial clock in America. Everything was going swimmingly for Vanessa as she fulfilled her duties as Miss America, such as they are, until July 22, 1984, when some uptight functionary or another from Miss America Pageant, Inc. forced her to resign her post because of her elegant nude photos.

Turns out that this “scandal” rescued Vanessa from the oblivion of being Miss America, and before you could say Bob Barker, she was a major movie star, a pop diva and popular fashion model, and remains active, successful and very beautiful to this day, and still our only Nude Miss America.

•Suggested Activities: The unexpected

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