On this date, June 14, in 1970, Cheryl Adrienne Brown wins the Miss Iowa pageant and becomes the first African American to compete in the Miss America beauty pageant.

Cheryl Brown Hollingsworth, now of Lithonia, Ga., is married and the mother of two married children. She hopes to be in Davenport for tonight’s pageant.

Thirty years ago a pretty and talented ballet dancer from Iowa set the international press spinning when she became the first-ever African-American contestant in the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J.

The fact that she came from a conservative Midwestern state like Iowa was doubly astounding to those who were reporting on the pageant, and she drew attention not only from newspaper and magazine writers around the world but from the security forces in Atlantic City, who were quite visible during rehearsals in Convention Hall.  [Continue reading.]


Nicole Kelly has all the qualifications you’d expect a beauty queen to exhibit – a sincere disposition, an ambitious attitude, a friendly personality – but Kelly breaks the mold when it comes to her physical appearance.

Read on and learn more about this remarkable 23-year-old.


30 Days of Flight - Day 26 | WICKED the Musical

We love that Miss Iowa Nicole Kelly is one of our biggest fans. And she knows what it’s like to be “green,” having overcome her own physical disability and inspiring others to do the same.

We’re thrilled by her support of the show, so we’ve given her a one-of-a-kind experience - being transformed into the green girl herself by our Broadway makeup artist. Miss Iowa is no stranger to “prettifying” makeup, but it turns out that she’s never felt more beautiful than when we turned her green. 



Bionic Model Rebekah Marine and Miss Iowa 2013 Nicole Kelly’s Amputee Joke featuring Avicii’s “Wake Me Up”


Carlyn Bradarich. Miss Iowa

What to say, what to say. I love this dress. It’s top heavy for the eyes but only so as to draw attention to her face and from the chest down its simple just a dress. Nothing fancy.No piece of fabric to twirl around, no long train, just a simple, elegant, black dress. And because of that, this dress happily hugs Miss Iowa in all the right places. Of all the evening gowns, this dress has got to be my favorite. It’s simply just stunning, and the reason why, I believe, Miss Iowa was saved and picked to be in the top 6. Way to go Miss Iowa

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I would like to point out that this girl right here is my hero, my role model! I want to be like her! She’s so talented and kind and caring! She has auditioned for Glee twice and even made it into the finals one of the times! This summer she will be competing in the Miss Iowa pageant! To make things even better, she even works backstage on BROADWAY!!! Maybe one day I’ll be able to somewhat follow her footsteps in my own little way! Until then, she will remain my inspiration to reach for the stars and never settle for less! She is living proof that a smalltown girl can be someone! And that is why I am so proud of my cousin, my role model, my hero! <3