You might argue that Miss Universe pageant was held first in 1952 in Long Beach, California. You are right but this is the pageant we are accustomed to nowadays. This is the pageant which is currently under Donald Trump. But I am talking a different pageant that is now a history. There was once a beauty pageant called the International Pageant of Pulchritude where the winner was sashed or named Miss Universe. It started in 1926 in Galveston, Texas.
This pageant is also known as International Pageant Contest or Miss Universe Contest by its followers. It was held in the US until 1931. But when the US economy went to drain known as Great Depression, US decided to stop this.
Belgium came to rescue the pageant by bringing it to Brussels in 1932. In 1933 and 1934, the pageant was not held for an unknown reason but it came back once again in 1935 which marked its final staging. It was not held since then because of the World War II.
In 1952, a separate pageant was given birth by Catalina Swimsuit Company. It was named Miss Universe. This is the pageant we love to watch now but it has no connection with the old one.
The winners are:
1926 - USA - Catherine Moylan
1927 - USA - Dorothy Britton
1928 - USA - Ella Van Hueson
1929 - Austria - Lisl Goldarbeiter
1930 - USA - Dorothy Dell Goff
1930 - Brazil - Yolanda Pereira
1931 - Belgium - Netta Duchâteau
1932 - Turkey Keriman Halis
1935 - Egypt - Charlotte Wassef
You will observe that in 1930, there are two winners of the said contest. This is because there were two editions - the Brazil version and the US version.
In 1929, International Pageant of Pulchritude became so popular in Brazil. The Brazilians had high hopes their representative would win. But when their girl did not make it, the angry Brazilians created their own Miss Universe Contest the following year in 1930 where their girl won the title. The representative from the US was also excluded in the semi-finals. It is not clear if this was a vendetta by the Brazilian judges.
The winner shown in that picture posted above is Dorothy Dell Goff of the US in the 1930 US version of the pageant.
Watch this video also.