1970 Miss America Pageant

1970 Miss America Pageant - Pamela Eldred Miss Michigan wins

Pamela Eldred, Miss Michigan, won the 1970 Miss America pageant which was held in September 1969. The Mercy College student was crowned by outgoing Miss America 1969 Judy Ford of Illinois.

Miss America 1970 Pamela Eldred
Miss America 1970 Pamela Eldred, Miss Michigan

Bert Parks served as the host and former Miss America 1966 Debby Bryant (Miss Kansas) provided color commentary. 

The 1970 pageant was one of the rare years when a double preliminary winner failed to become Miss America.  Miss Ohio, Kathy Baumann, a double preliminary winner who had walked off with the swimsuit and talent trophies earlier in the week, was largely considered the crowd favorite to win.

However, by the evening's conclusion, it was Miss Michigan Pamela Eldred, who had failed to win a preliminary award, who walked away with the crown. 

Eldred, an elegant platinum blonde with a creamy complexion and beautifully refined features, resembled a delicate china doll. The first ballerina to win the national title, Eldred performed a ballet en pointe to music from the popular movie "Romeo and Juliet" during the talent competition.

1970 Miss America Pageant contestants in swimsuit
Contestants at the 1970 Miss America Pageant pose in swimsuits on the Boardwalk. Eventual winner Pamela Eldred, Miss Michigan, is 4th from right on bottom row in a lime green swimsuit

During the final question asked of the five finalists, Bert Parks asked her what advice she would give her 12-year-old sister Melanie about entering the "now" generation. She replied, "Well, unfortunately, my little sister Melanie is brain injured, so I really couldn't give her any information," but that the advice she would offer other young women would be to "enjoy life by being themselves."

In the swimsuit competition Eldred competed in a lime green swimsuit with a modesty panel and was noteworthy for her particularly tiny waist. (View photo to right)

The Miss Michigan, a resident of Bloomfield, had previously failed to win the Miss Michigan pageant.

Susan Anton, who later went on to achieve fame as a singer and actress, made a memorable impression as Miss California during the 1970 pageant finals. At 5' 11" in bare feet, the eighteen-year-old blond towered over host Bert Parks. During the live telecast, when Parks asked Miss California what she would eventually look for in a husband, Anton delivered one of the all-time classic pageant answers; She looked down at the host, shrugged her shoulders like it was a ridiculous question to ask a teenager and deadpanned, "Heaven only knows..." Then she simply u-turned on her heels and walked away... leaving Parks standing on-stage alone trying not to laugh. Anton tied with Miss New Jersey for 2nd runner-up.

At the conclusion of her reign, Pamela Eldred returned to Atlantic City to crown her successor, Miss Texas Phyllis George, Miss America 1971.

Eldred went on to become an licensed electrolysis technician, cosmetologist and image consultant. She lives in Bloomfield, Michigan.

Pageant Results > Miss America Pageant > 1970 Pamela Eldred

all Miss Americas

  • Miss America 1970: Pamela Ann Eldred, Miss Michigan
  • 1st runner-up: Kathy Lynn Baumann, Miss Ohio
  • 2nd runner-up: Susan Anton, Miss California (tie)
  • 2nd runner-up: Cheryl Carter, Miss New Jersey (tie)
  • 4th runner-up: Judy Mendenhall, Miss Minnesota

1970 Semifinalists

  • Miss Ohio
  • Miss Minnesota
  • Miss Hawaii
  • Miss New York
  • Miss California (Susan Anton)
  • Miss Michigan
  • Miss New Jersey
  • Miss Colorado
  • Miss New Mexico
  • Miss Massachusetts

1970 Talent Competition

  • Miss Ohio - Interpretive gymnastics dance to "Those Were the Days" based on a space theme
  • Miss Minnesota - Flute medley of "Picture of a Shepherd" and "The Swiss Shepherd Song"
  • Miss Hawaii - Played "Prelude in C Sharp Minor" on the piano
  • Miss New York - Singing and dancing to a medley from the movie "Mary Poppins"
  • Miss California (Susan Anton) - Popular singer, sang "Put on a Happy Face"
  • Miss Michigan - Ballet en pointe to "Theme from Romeo and Juliet"
  • Miss New Jersey -Played "An Affair to Remember" on the piano
  • Miss Colorado - Baton twirling to a medley from the movie "Funny Girl"
  • Miss New Mexico - Classical vocal of "Caro Nome" from the opera "Rigoletto"
  • Miss Massachusetts - Played medley of Grieg's Concerto in A Minor and Bumble Boogie

1970 Emcees and Hosts

  • Host: Bert Parks
  • Color Commentator: Debby Bryant, Miss America 1966
Copyright

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