International Pageant of Pulchritude
/ Miss Universe
Between 1920 and 1925, the city of
Galveston, Texas, organized the Annual Bathing Girl Revue. In 1926,
international contestants began to compete, so the pageant became known as
the International Pageant of Pulchritude, with the winner named Miss
Universe. It became so popular that every year 150,000 people gathered
to view the bathing suit parade on Galveston Boulevard.
In 1927 began the contest to select Miss United States who
would compete against the foreign participants in the next night's finals,
though the rest of the American contestants were eligible to vie for the
The pageant was discontinued in 1932 for three reasons:
1) The Great Depression;
2) Bishop C. E. Byrne had long waged a fight against the "leg show on the
sea wall"; and
3) Chewing gum magnate Colonel W. E. Easterwood complained that the home
girls of Texas were discriminated against, and that the foreign contestants
wore enough makeup "to paint the Washington Monument."
These 4 photographs are of the 44 contestants who
competed in the 1929 pageant.
Special thanks to Margaret of Poland and Stefan of Holland for their