The Judgement of Paris
However, it was certainly not easy to find international contestants who will participate in the pageant, especially on a very short notice. Despite his best effort, Eric Morley only ended up with 5 international contestants, so he decided to recruit 21 British contestants to increase the number of the contestants. The competition, won by Kiki Hakansson from Sweden, ended up with a huge success and generated an enormous worldwide publicity. The media referred it as Miss World, and Eric Morley, who loved the name, decided to use it as the official name for his pageant.
Miss World pageant was initially planned as one time promotional event only, but upon learning that the Americans would stage Miss Universe pageant in the upcoming year, Eric Morley decided to make Miss World as an annual pageant so that the claim of being the first to create an annual international beauty pageant would forever belong to the British, not the American. His decision was largely supported by countries in Europe and British Commonwealth and so Miss World continued to be held until now.
The inaugural edition of Miss Universe pageant was held in 1952 at Long Beach, California and won by Armi Kuusela from Finland. It was actually scheduled to be held in 1951, but the publicity and the success of the first edition of Miss World contest stole the attention away from Miss Universe, forced the later to be delayed by a year to 1952. In the end, Miss Universe also became a worldwide success and together with Miss World, they become the two most important international beauty pageants today.
Beauty School Geocities website
Miss World website
Miss Universe website
Miss America website