Leona Gage | WYPR

Leona Gage

Oct 27, 2017

The new Miss U.S.A., Leona Gage of Maryland, embraces her cousin, Barbara Gage, as they told how they pooled their resources to finance Leona’s entry in a beauty contest that led to her selection as Miss U.S.A. at Long Beach, Calif., on July 17, 1957.
Credit AP Photo/HF

In the evening of July 15, 1957, Veterans Stadium in Long Beach, California was awash in the lights and music and pageantry of the semi-finals of the Miss USA contest. Contestants from all over America walked down the runway. In that group was a Cinderella come-to-the-ball from Glen Burnie, Maryland, named Leona Gage. But neighbors from the area were not fooled. They told the real story of who Miss Gage really was!