1926 International Pageant of Pulchritude

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1926 International Pageant of Pulchritude
Catherine Moylan Argentinean Magazine AD.jpg
"Beauty Queen of the Universe" Catherine Moylan
Date May 15, 1926 (1926-05-15) - May 17, 1926 (1926-05-17)
Venue Galveston, Texas
Entrants 39
Placements 12
Winner Catherine Moylan

The First International Pageant of Pulchritude and Seventh Annual Bathing Girl Revue, was a beauty pageant held from May 15 to May 17, 1926, in Galveston, Texas. The previous editions of the Galveston Bathing Girl Revue had only featured contestants from the United States. However, during the 1926 event, one contestant from Mexico and another from Canada entered, giving the pageant its first international competitors, it was reported that around 160,000 people watched the bathing costume parade on the afternoon of the 16th.[1][2]

Miss Dallas, Catherine Moylan, won the event, becoming the first Beauty Queen of the Universe.


The contestants began to arrive in Galveston on May 13. Señorita Mexico Maria Martha Perres and Miss Winnipeg Patricia O'Shea, both international entries, notably arrived on that first day, amid a crowd of curious onlookers, the opening parade was held on May 15, with the pageant itself held on May 16.[3] The prizes were given out at the American Beauty Ball, held at the Garden of Tokio in Galveston, which was accompanied by music from various bands such as the Missouri Pacific band, and the Southern Pacific band.[4]


"I'm really overwhelmed by the results of the pageant, and my good fortune is almost more than I had hoped for. But I really don't feel much different than yesterday, when I was no more than 'Miss Dallas.'"

— Catherine Moylan, Beauty Queen of the Universe 1926, Galveston Daily News [5]

Miss Dallas, Catherine Moylan, won first place in the pageant and was crowned Beauty Queen of the Universe, it was the second time in a row that Miss Dallas won the competition.[1] For winning, Moylan received $2000, and a gold and silver plaque engraved with "Beauty Queen of the Universe", after the competition, Moylan had revealed in an interview that she would use the prize money to attend Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She also gave credit to Dorothy Stahl, her coach, for her win.[5]

The second-place winner received $1000, the third $250, and the remaining nine places received $100 each.[6]

Judging was based on "beauty, form, grace, and personal charm." Costumes, props, and other decorations were not considered.[6]


Place Contestant[1]
1st Miss Dallas - Catherine Moylan
2nd Miss New Orleans - Gladys Moore
3rd Miss Winnipeg - Patricia O’Shea
4th Señorita Mexico - Maria Martha Perres
5th Miss Tulsa Rose - Pauline Mason
6th Miss Palestine - Arylie Mae Hiser
7th Miss Nebraska - Grace Tolsen
8th Miss Shreveport - Pauline Zacharias
9th Miss Wichita Falls - Frances Rutledge
10th Miss Jefferson City, Mo. - Evelyn Manchester
11th Miss Groesbeck - Lois Ford
12th Dallas - Rosebud Blondell


The 39 contestants of the First International Pageant of Pulchritude line up at the beach in Galveston, Texas.

Thirty-nine women entered the contest in 1926, with most coming from Texas and its surrounding states, the presence of contestants Maria Martha Parres from Mexico and Patricia O'Shea from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, made the competition Galveston's first international event.[7]




  1. ^ a b c "Miss Dallas Wins Revue". Galveston Daily News. 17 May 1926. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  2. ^ West, Donald. "Pageantopolis: Universe 1920s". Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "International Entries Are First to Arrive for Bathing Girl Revue". Galveston Daily News. 14 May 1926. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Beauty Pageant Ends As Prizes Are Given Contestants at Ball". Galveston Daily News. 18 May 1926. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Beauty Prize Will Open College Door For Dallas Winner". Galveston Daily News. 18 May 1926. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Bathing girls gather for revue; parade today". Galveston Daily News. 15 May 1926. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Estimated 200,000 will see Revue". Galveston Daily News. 16 May 1926. Retrieved 25 January 2013.