1960 Miss America Pageant - Lynda Lee Mead Miss Mississippi wins
Lynda Lee Mead, Miss Mississippi, won the 1960 Miss America Pageant, becoming the second of two back-to-back Miss Mississippi titleholders to be crowned Miss
America ... The other being her predecessor, Mary Ann Mobley.
Lynda Lee Mead, Miss America 1960, was the second of two back-to-back Miss
Mississippi's to win the crown.
Mobley and Mead were students at the University of Mississippi and members of the same sorority, Chi Omega,
making their double victories a considerable coupe for both
Ole Miss and
Chi Omega and a
one-of-a-kind occurrence at the
Miss America pageant.
Mead was one of the pageant's few winners not to have won a preliminary
competition earlier in the week. In the
talent competition she performed a drama "Schizophrenia" in which she
portrayed the confusion of an adolescent girl coming of age.
She returned to crown her successor,
Nancy Fleming, Miss America
1961, of Michigan.
Lynda later married Dr. John Shea, a surgeon, with whom she has grown children.
She resides in Memphis where she is prominently involved in community affairs.
- Miss America 1960: Lynda Lee Mead, Miss Mississippi
- 1st runner-up: Mary Alice Fox, Miss Wisconsin
- 2nd runner-up: Sharon Joyce Vaugh, Miss Washington
- 3rd runner-up: Susan Diane Broson, Miss California
- 4th runner-up: Patricia Anne Allebrand, Miss Arizona
1960 Top 10
- Miss Arizona, Patricia Anne Allebrand
- Miss California, Susan Diane Broson
- Miss Canada, Rosemary Catherine Kreenan
- Miss Illinois, Suzanne Ingeborg Johnson
- Miss Mississippi, Lynda Lee Mead
- Miss New York State, Bonnie Jo Marquis
- Miss Pennsylvania, Lois Janet Piercy
- Miss Tennessee, Marion Lee Wayland
- Miss Washington, Sharon Joyce Vaugh
- Miss Wisconsin, Mary Alice Fox
1960 Talent Competition
- Miss Arizona - Modern interpretive ballet about a girl who thinks her love has been rejected (which interestingly, resembles Marlon Brando in mob
film, "On the Waterfront").
- Miss Pennsylvania - Art/flute: Seated next to her award-winning oil painting, "Night Rain on the City", she plays an original composition on the
- Miss California - Modern jazz dance: She dances to "An America in Spain" wearing a suggestive costume that resembles a Playboy bunny
bull-fighter (basically, a swimsuit with a bolero shirt, high heels and a toreador's hat).
- Miss Tennessee - Piano/vocal: After singing the classical aria "Près des remparts de Séville"
from the opera "Carmen" while playing the piano... in mid "fa-la-la-la-la!", she suddenly leaps up from the
piano, rips off her ball gown to reveal a sexy mini-skirt, and launches into the popular tune, "I Am Just a Girl Who Can't Say No".
- Miss Canada - Speech: After being escorted out by two Royal Canadian mounted police in full uniform, she delivers a speech (frequently
referring to note cards held daintily in her gloved hands) about "her feelings about freedom as an American living in this generation," most notably "the
threat of annihilation due to discoveries by nuclear physicists."
- Miss Wisconsin - After Bert Parks introduces her with the sparse words, "Here is a talented dancer", she performs a comedy dance of what appears
to be an inebriated hobo. (However, she is simply stunning in the swimsuit competition, which she has easily won in the preliminary competitions
earlier in the week.)
- Miss New York State - Sings and dances to "What Lola Wants, Lola Gets" from the musical play "Damn Yankees" ... wearing a
suggestive baseball babe costume... a swimsuit bottom, sleeveless shirt, hat, baseball bat and cap, and stiletto heels.
- Miss Washington - Classical vocal: Performs the aria
"Haberna" from the opera "Carmen". She suddenly stops mid-song and remarks, "Hmm, it may be grand to do something from an opera ... but to do
something from Oklahoma is more fun!" before belting out "I Am Just a Girl Who Can't Say No" (Incidentally, the second rendition of the
tune that night).
- Miss Mississippi - Dramatic monologue, "Schizophrenia", about "the humor in the condition that is common to all females who are about to cross that
famous threshold from girl to woman."
- Host - Bert Parks
- Color Commentator - Marilyn Van Derbur, Miss America 1958
- The announcement of the top 10 is a substantial departure from the
format used in modern pageantry. Rather than having the ten
semi-finalists announced during the live television broadcast, the top 10
wait backstage while the reminder of contestants are introduced in
alphabetical order during the Parade of States. As the Convention Hall
audience and home viewers notice that certain states are being skipped over
during the introduction, they realize (Ahah!) that the missed state is among the
top 10. The first the audience sees of these semi-finalists is when they
are introduced in the evening gown competition.
- Contestants in the 1960 pageant all wear princess-style ball gowns with
massive hoop skirts, making them resemble a parade of southern belles from "Gone
With the Wind".
- Miss Congeniality is Miss Hawaii, Gordean Lee.
- The pageant's TV commentator, Marilyn Van Derbur (Miss America 1958),
perched in an anchor booth in the back of the massive Convention Hall
auditorium, reports on the pageant's events by watching the competition
through a pair of binoculars.
- Lynda Lee Mead is the second of back-to-back Miss Mississippis to
win the Miss America crown. She is crowned by her
predecessor - Ole Miss classmate and Chi Omega sorority sister - Mary Ann Mobley,
Miss America 1959.
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