Friday, June 28, 2013

The way we were...The Great Orange Bowl Pageant Fix of 1949

1950 Orange Bowl Queen, La Dene Van Wagoner.
(Photo via

La Dene Van Wagoner, a 23 year-old blonde stewardess for National Airlines was chosen as the 1950 Orange Bowl Queen in late December 1949.....back when these sorts of events were really big news in Miami.

How big?

The Miami Daily News sent four photographers and a reporter to cover the festivities at the Coral Gables Country Club.

And that was a good thing. Because as it turned out, Wagoner's selection wasn't without a hint of scandal.

Minutes before her selection was announced, copies of a Coral Gables newspaper appeared on tables at the club - "as if by magic" - trumpeting the news.

How did the paper know Wagoner would be picked?

The paper's managing editor explained - apparently with a straight face, "We parlayed a hunch into a scoop."

Miami Daily News, Dec. 29, 1949.

1 comment:

  1. My Wife was named LaDene after the Orang Bowl Queen on 02-16-50


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