Miss America 2016 will be crowned Sunday night in Atlantic City, where the event first began in 1921 as a bathing suit competition.
Here's a photographic look at the Miss America Pageant through the years, starting in 1921 and working up to 2015.
Margaret Gorman Cahill is shown after she was crowned the first Miss America in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 14, 1921. She was 15 years old at the time. Her formal title was queen of Atlantic City's "Inter-City Beauty Pageant," which later became the Miss America Pageant.
Contestants in the first Miss America pageant line up for the judges in Atlantic City, N.J., in Sept. 1921. Second from left is Margaret Gorman, who won the competition. Miss America started as a bathing suit contest on the uncomplicated theory it might help fill Atlantic City hotel rooms for an extra week past Labor Day at the end of the summer season.
Mary Katherine Campbell, 15, holds the scepter as she poses in the regal robe and crown after becoming Miss America 1922 at the second Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., in Sept. 1922. Campbell, of Columbus, Ohio, won again in 1923, the only one to win twice.
Norma Smallwood, of Tulsa, Okla., poses in her bathing suit with trophies after becoming Miss America 1926 in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 11, 1926.
Lois Delander, of Joilet, Ill., poses on the throne wearing a robe and holding a scepter after being crowned Miss America 1927 at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., in Sept. 1927.
Lois Eleanor Delander, Joilet, Ill, holds her Miss America sash over her head after winning the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., in 1927.
Miss Pittsburgh Henriette Leaver, 19, wears her crown and holds her trophy after winning the 1935 Miss American title at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., Sept. 8, 1935.
Rose Veronica Coyle, holding scepter and trophy cup, takes the throne after she is crowned Miss America 1936 at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., Sept. 13, 1936. Coyle, 22, of Philadelphia, won among 48 contestants.
Bette Cooper poses with her trophy in the regal robe after being crowned Miss America 1937 at the annual Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., in Sept. 1937. Cooper is Miss Bertrand Island, N.J.
Marilyn Meseke, of Marion, Ohio, is crowned Miss America 1938, center, at the annual National Beauty Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 10, 1938. Flanking the 21-year-old winner are second and third place contestants, respectively, Miss California, Claire James of Los Angeles, right, and Miss Utah, Marion La Von Goodspeed of Salt Lake City, left. Talent counted for one-third of the overall judging score for the first time in pageant history.
Patricia Donnelly, Miss America 1939 from Detroit, Mi., crowns Miss America 1940, 19-year-old Frances Marie Burke of Philadelphia, Pa., at the annual Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 7, 1940.
Miss America of 1943 Jean Bartel, center, of Los Angeles, poses with unidentified finalists of the Miss American Pageant, Sept. 11, 1943. She was Miss California.
Jean Bartel, Miss California, of Los Angeles, wears her crown and cape after becoming Miss America 1944 at the annual Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 11, 1943. Posing with her at left is Muriel Elizabeth Smith, Miss Florida of Miami, second runner-up, and at right, Frances Mack, Miss Boston, third runner-up
When Miss Venus Ramey, acclaimed Miss America at Atlantic City in 1944, returned to her home town Cincinnati, in fall 1945, she was delighted to hear recordings of her own singing voice on the first radio-phonograph receiver to come off the radio assembly line. It was produced at the Crosley Corp. plant which had converted from war production.
Bess Myerson, New York City, N.Y., Miss New York City, waves from he float during the victory parade at Atlantic City, New Jersey., on Sept. 2, 1945. Miss Myerson was a finalist in the "Miss America, 1945" beauty contest which will be held at Atlantic City, September 8, 1945. The dark-haired beauty is from the Bronx. She later won the Miss America title.
These young women, who will seek the title of “Miss America, 1945,” at Atlantic City, N.J. on September 8, grace the boardwalk, Sept. 4, 1945. From left to right are Lee M. Wieland, Chicago, Ill., Miss Chicago; Barbara Lee Smith, Detroit, Mich., Miss Detroit; Bess Myerson, New York, Miss New York City; Phyllis Mathis, La Jolla, Calif., Miss San Diego; Gloria Naomi Bair, Philadelphia, Pa., Miss Philadelphia; Claire Thibadeau, Boston, Mass., Miss Boston; Rae Evelyn Crist, Miami Beach, Florida, Miss Florida and Frances Born, Birmingham, Ala., Miss Birmingham.
Bess Myerson, who was Miss America of 1945-46, is outstanding among beauty queens for her success since she won the title. She was the first Miss America to win on the basis of talent as well as beauty. A talented pianist, she was guest soloist with the New York Philharmonic in 1946. She and her husband live in New York City with their daughter, 6-year-old Barbara Wayne. In the living room of their home, Bess approves Barbara’s boardwalk pose on Sept. 6, 1954.
Marilyn Buferd, of Los Angeles, Ca., sits on the throne wearing the regal robe as former Miss America Bess Myerson transfers her crown to Miss America 1946 at the annual Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 7, 1945.
Marylin Buferd, Miss America of 1946, from Los Angeles, California, offers a sandwich to Roberto Rossellini, Italian motion picture director, at the Excelsior Hotel in Rome, on Sept. 18, 1948. Miss Buferd played a part in the Italian director’s picture.
Yolanda Betbeze, Miss America of 1951 is crowned by her predecessor, Jacque Mercer at Atlantic City, N.J. Sept. 9, 1950.
Colleen Kay Hutchins, 25, Salt Lake City, Utah, poses with her trophy in the regal robe after being crowned Miss America 1952 in the annual Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 8, 1951.
In this Sept. 11,1951 file photo, Miss America, Colleen Kay Hutchins of Salt Lake City, Utah poses for photos during an interview at the Waldorf-Astoria on the annual visit to New York following the beauty Pageant at Atlantic City, N.J.
Lee Meriwether, left, reacts as she hears her name announced as Miss America 1955, during the first televsion telecast in 1954, in Atlantic City, N.J., as Leonora Slaughter, chairperson of the National Hostess Committee, waits to place the official Miss America sash on Meriwether. Television helped make the Atlantic City contest into a link to millions of heartland living rooms and make the winners into stars.
Lee Ann Meriwether, of San Francisco, poses with her trophy on her first day in the role of Miss America 1955 in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept 12, 1954. The nineteen-year-old won the title last night at the annual Miss America pageant.
Miss California, Lee Ann Meriwether of San Francisco smiles after being named Miss America of 1955 at Atlantic City, N.J. Sept.11, 1954. She carries the scepter and wears the robe of Miss America.
Singing star Eddie Fisher shown with Miss Alabama in the Miss America contest, Patricia Huddleston, after she had won the talent contest on the first night of judging, Sept. 7, 1955 at Atlantic City, N.J.
Miss America of 1958, Marilyn Elaine Van Derbur of Denver, Colo., sits at keyboard of electrical musical instrument and talks with television star Steve Allen after appearance on his nationwide TV show at an NBC studio on Sept. 8, 1957 in New York City. Her pleasing personality, displayed in that pretty smile and some talent on the organ added to a capable bathing suit figure got Marilyn the judges nod at Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 7. The 20-year-old, blonde, green eyed beauty beat out 50 contestants.
The new Miss America of 1958 is shown with her family, Sept. 7, 1957, in Atlantic City, N.J. Marilyn Elaine Van Derbur is kissed by her parents, Gwendolyn and Francis, as her sisters stand in the background. From left to right, back row: Nancy Knowlton, Valerie Horan and Gwenn Falkenberg.
Miss America 1959, Mary Ann Mobley, of Brandon, Mississippi, is crowned by outgoing Miss America Marilyn Elaine Van Derbur at the annual Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 6, 1958.
TV Star Steve Allen (left) and Miss America, Mary Ann Mobley (right) go through a duet number after Steve Allen TV show for photographers. They sang together during show on Sept. 14, 1958.
Actor Robert Vaughn, star of "Man from U.N.C.L.E.," and Mary Ann Mobley, former Miss America, arrive at the Hollywood Palladium for the 18th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony in Hollywood, Calif., on May 22, 1966.
Mary Ann Mobley, Miss America of 1959, is center of attention for co-stars Martin Balsam, left, and Tom Bosley backstage after opening of musical "Nowhere to Go But Up" at New York's Winter Garden Theater, Nov. 10, 1962. Miss Mobley plays a major supporting role in the show about prohibition area agents and their antics.
Miss Nevada, Dawn Elberta Wells (right) showed up at the Miss America pageant bearing gifts for all fifty-four of her competitors. She is giving Miss Texas, Marilyn Kay Turner a bottle of perfume in Atlantic City Sept. 9, 1959.
Miss America of 1960, Miss Mississippi, Lynda Lee Mead of Natchez, is crowned by outgoing Miss America, Mary Ann Mobley, also of Mississippi, Sept. 12, 1959, in Atlantic City, N.J.
Jane Anne Jayroe of Laverne, Oklahoma, Miss American of 1967, holds a microphone as she entertains some 5,000 U.S Marines from a stage set up at Freedom Hill in Da Nang, Vietnam, Aug. 28, 1967. Miss Jayroe is the star of the USO song and dance troupe making a 17-day tour of U.S. bases in South Vietnam. There are several other former Miss American contestants in the troupe.
American Gis in Saigon cluster around Jane Anne Jayroe, this year's Miss America, as she signs autographs after appearing with a USO show, Aug. 17, 1967, at Saigon's Camp Davies.
Jane Jayroe, bottom row, second from left, poses with unidentified former Miss America contestants and troop escort, Capt. Frank Lennon, Aug. 1967. Jayroe, the current Miss America, is traveling with past Miss Americas to entertain the troops in Vietnam.
Members of the National Women's Liberation Party hold protest signs in front of Convention Hall where the Miss America Pageant will be held tonight in Atlantic City, N.J. on Sept. 7, 1968. The picketers, also seen behind, are protesting the annual pageant as degrading to women.
Debra Dene Barnes, of Pittsburgh, Ka., poses on the throne after being crowned Miss America 1968 in Atlantic City, N.J. on Sept. 9, 1967.
Pamela Anne Eldred, the nation's new Miss America of 1970, poses with all her regal trappings at Atlantic City, N.J., Sept. 8, 1969, following her crowning. She is 21 and hails from Detroit.
Miss Michigan, Pamela Anne Eldred, left, reacts to the announcement that she is the winner of the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., Sept. 7, 1969. Beside her is Miss Ohio, Kathy Lynn Baumann.
Pamela Anne Eldred, 21-year-old from Michigan, is crowned Miss America of 1970 by outgoing Miss America, Judith Anne Ford, in Atlantic City, N.J., Sept. 6, 1969.
Miss Michigan, Pamela Anne Eldred, performs an interpretive ballet dance entitled "Love Mood" performed to the love theme from "Romeo And Juliet" during the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., Sept. 3, 1969.
The new Miss America, Michigan's Pamela Anne Eldred, presses her hands to her mouth as she hears that she has been named the new Miss America for 1970 in Atlantic City, N.J., Sept. 6, 1969. Behind her, at right, waiting to give up her crown is outgoing queen, Judith Ann Ford.
Open-mouthed, 21-year-old Miss Texas, Phyllis George of Denton, reacts Sept.13,1970 as she learns she has just been chosen Miss America of 1971 in Atlantic City. Miss South Carolina, Claudia Turner, right, of Spartenburg, was first runnerup.
Phyllis George, of Denton, Texas, receives the crown as Miss America 1971 from outgoing Miss America Pamela Elfred at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Sept. 12, 1970.
Crown of the new Miss America, Phyllis George, 21, Miss Texas from Denton, Texas, is at her feet at lower right as she looks down open-mouthed about to retrieve it, Sept. 12, 1970. The crown fell from her head as she began her walk down the runway after being chosen at Atlantic City. One of the jewels from the crown bounces up along her gown at right. In background, Bert Parks sings.
Newly-crowned Miss America for 1971, Phyllis George of Denton, Tex., loses her crown — but not her title — at Atlantic City, N.J., Sept. 12, 1970. The 21-year-old winner of the pageant retrieved the crown and continued her walk down the runway.
Bellinda Myrick, center, dances with a GI during a U.S.O. show at Firebase Mace, 35 miles northwest of Saigon in Vietnam, Aug. 28, 1971. She is part of a group of girls touring with Miss America around various U.S. bases in Vietnam.
Rebecca Ann King, of Denver, Co., walks down the runway after she is crowned Miss America 1974 at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., Saturday night, Sept. 8, 1973.
Miss America, Rebecca King, center, congratulates Patty and Maxene Andrews on their return to Broadway, the scene of their original triumphs, to portray USO hostesses in the musical "Over Here!" that recaptures the spirit and times of the war years during the 1940s, March 1974.
Miss America 1976, Tawny Elaine Godin of Saratoga Springs, New York, left, is crowned by Miss American 1975 Shirley Cothran, right, at the pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., Sept. 7, 1975.
Tawny Elaine Godin of Saratoga Springs, New York is shown in her evening gown at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, Sept. 6, 1975, before being crowned Miss America 1976.
Tawny Elaine Godin, the Miss America of 1976, is shown after she was crowned in Atlantic City, Sept. 7, 1975.
Cheryl Prewitt , Miss America for 1980, is crowned in Atlantic City, N.J., Sept. 8, 1979.
Cheryl Prewitt of Mississippi reacts as she was named the new Miss America for 1980 in Atlantic City, N.J., Sept. 8, 1979.
The new Miss America Susan Powell, left, Miss Oklahoma, reacts as she is crowned by Cheryl Prewitt, the outgoing Miss America at the pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Sept. 6, 1980.
Susan Powell, Miss Oklahoma, reacts as she is named the new Miss America in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Sept. 6, 1980. She is from Elk City, Oklahoma.
Former Miss America Elizabeth Ward, left, and Miss Arkansas 1980, Lencola Sullivan, pose in Hot Springs, Ark., on July 13, 1981, after Ward was named Miss Arkansas 1981.
Former Miss America Elizabeth Ward shown in this August 1982 photo.
Vanessa Williams, the new Miss America, left, is shown as she is crowned, Saturday, Sept. 17, 1983 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, by the outgoing Miss America, Debra Maffett.
Miss America of 1984 Vanessa Williams, left, of New York poses with Miss New Jersey Suzette Charles, after Williams was crowned, Sept. 19, 1983 in Atlantic City.
Former Miss America Suzette Charles stands behind newly-crowned Miss America Sharlene Wells of Utah as she passes on the honor of being selected the most outstanding beauty in the nation at the conclusion of the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N. J. Sept.17, 1984.
President Ronald Reagan shakes hands with Miss America Sharlene Wells of Provo, Utah, at the White House in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 1985.
Miss America Sharlene Wells of Utah poses with her crown.
Susan Akin of Meridian, Miss., is crowned Miss America 1986 by former Miss America, Sharlene Wells of Salt Lake City, Utah, at the pageant in Atlantic City, N.J. on Sept. 14, 1985.
Susan Akin, of Meridian, Missi., gets her crown adjusted by Miss West Va., Rebecca Porterfield at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., Saturday night, Sept. 15, 1985. Akin won the annual competition and won the title of Miss America 1986.
Susan Akin, of Meridian, Miss., waves to the crowd as she walks down the runway after being crowned Miss America 1986 at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J. on Sept. 15, 1985.
Miss America of 1987, Kellye Cash and her granduncle, country western star Johnny Cash, sing a duet during a program welcoming Ms. Cash back to Jackson, Tenn., where she won the Miss Tennessee crown earlier this year, Oct. 17, 1986.
With Miss America 1989 Gretchen Carlson, left, and first runner up Virginia Cha, Miss Maryland, center at her side, Miss America 1990 Debbye Turner of Missouri throws her arms up in the air after winning the title in Atlantic City, N.J. Sept.16, 1989.
Miss American Kimberly Aiken smiles during a news conference at the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J., Sunday, Sept. 19, 1993. Aiken hopes to draw attention to the plight of the homeless during her reign.
Miss America 1995 Heather Whitestone, the former Miss Alabama, walks down the runway and signs "I Love You" to the crowd after she won the 74th annual pageant in the Atlantic City Convention Hall Saturday, September 17, 1994.
President Bill Clinton greets Miss America Heather Whitestone, of Alabama, during a visit to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Oct. 6, 1994.
Heather Arciniega, 13, center, and other members of the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles react to seeing themselves on a big screen after Arciniega was crowned by former Miss America Heather Whitestone-McCallum on the red carpet in front of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles Tuesday, Sept 25, 2007. 1400 of Los Angeles neediest children received celebrity treatment at the Hollywood premiere of the movie "Meet Me in Miami."
Miss America Shawntel Smith uses two hands to place the crown on her head during a news conference at Harrah's Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N. J., Sunday Sept. 17, 1995.
Miss. America, Shawntel Smith, gestures while Quinesha Farr, 11, center, shows Smith the Miss America home page on the Internet at Fuller Elementary School in Little Rock, Ark., Thursday, Feb. 8, 1996. Smith was visiting the school because it is the first in Arkansas to get an advanced wireless network that enables students to do everything from reporting emergencies to surfing the Internet.
Miss America 1996 Shawntel Smith, center, reacts as she is rushed from behind by the remaining Miss America contestants at the Atlantic City Convention Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., Saturday, Sept, 16, 1995.
Miss America 1997 Tara Dawn Holland of Kansas is crowned by former Miss America Shawntel Smith at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., Saturday night, Sept. 14, 1996.
Miss America 1997 Tara Dawn Holland, the former Miss Kansas, walks the runway carrying her scepter after she was crowned at the Atalntic City Convention Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., Saturday, Sept. 14, 1996.
Miss America 1999 Nicole Johnson, the former Miss Virginia, waves to the crowd as she rides in her last parade as Miss America in Atlantic City, N.J., Friday, Sept. 17, 1999. The new Miss America 2000 will be crowned Saturday, Sept. 18.
Reigning Miss America Nicole Johnson is flanked by Donny and Marie Osmond as they pose with the queen’s crown after it was announced the Osmonds would co-host the 1999 Miss America Pageant at a news conference in Los Angeles, Wednesday, April 28, 1999. The show is scheduled to be telecast on ABC Saturday, September 18, at 8 p.m., one hour earlier than in previous years.
Miss America Nicole Johnson, the former Miss Virginia, waves to the crowd after being crowned Miss America at the Atlantic City, N.J., Convention Hall Saturday, Sept. 19, 1998.
Miss Kentucky Heather Renee French, right, reacts to first runnerup, Miss Illinois Jade Smalls, left, after she realizes she has become Miss America 2000 during the Miss America Pageant at the Atlantic City Convention Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., Saturday, Sept. 18, 1999.
Miss America 2000 Heather Renee French holds up a Purple Heart that was given to her by a veteran as she addresses members of the Kentucky House of Representatives on the House floor Thursday, Feb. 10, 2000, during a regular meeting of the General Assmbly in Frankfort.
Miss Hawaii Angela Perez Baraquio watches an up-close and personal video profile of herself during the evening wear competition Saturday, Oct. 14, 2000, at the Atlantic City, N.J. Boardwalk Convention Hall. Baraquio was named Miss America 2001.
Former Miss America Angela Perez Baraquio, top, crowns Miss Oregon Katie Harman, a collegian who aspires to a career in bioethics, as Miss America 2002, during the Miss America Pageant at the Atlantic City, N.J., Boardwalk Convention Hall Saturday, Sept. 22, 2001.
Miss Florida, Ericka Dunlap, center, reacts after being named Miss America 2004 as outgoing Miss America, Erika Harold, applies the winner's crown and pageant host Tom Bergeron laughs Saturday evening, Sept. 20, 2003, in Atlantic City, N.J.
Miss America 2004 Ericka Dunlap reacts after she won the Miss America competition in Atlantic City, N.J., Saturday, Sept. 20, 2003.
Miss Alabama Deidre Downs reacts as confetti falls around her after she is crowned Miss America 2005 at the 2004 Miss America competition in Atlantic City, N.J., Saturday, Sept. 18, 2004.
Miss Oklahoma, Jennifer Berry, is crowned Miss America 2006 by outgoing Miss America 2005 Deidre Downs at the 2006 Miss America pageant in Las Vegas, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2006
Newly-crowned 2006 Miss America, Jennifer Berry, center, is congratulated by her parents Kaye, left, and Tom Berry at the 2006 Miss America pageant in Las Vegas, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2006.
Miss Oklahoma Lauren Nelson, center, is congratulated by her competitors after being crowned Miss America 2007 at the Miss America pageant at the Aladdin Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Monday, Jan. 29, 2007.
Miss Michigan Kirsten Haglund reacts as she is named one of 16 finalists during the Miss America Pageant at the Planet Hollywood hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008. Haglund was crowned Miss America 2008.
Miss Indiana Katie Stam is crowned Miss America 2009 by Kirsten Haglund at Planet Hollywood hotel & casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009.
A Jan. 30, 2010 file photo shows host Mario Lopez watches Miss Virginia Caressa Cameron, center, react as she is crowned Miss America by Miss America 2009 Katie Stam, in Las Vegas. Pageant officials say that the beauty competition has signed a three-year deal with ABC, with plans to air next year's pageant live on Jan. 15.
Teresa Scanlan, Miss Nebraska reacts after being named Miss America 2011 during the Miss America pageant, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011 in Las Vegas.
Miss Wisconsin Laura Kaeppeler reacts after being crowned Miss America Saturday Jan. 14, 2012 at The Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
Miss New York Mallory Hagan is crowned Miss America 2013 by Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Las Vegas.
In this Jan. 12, 2013 file photo, Miss New York Mallory Hytes Hagan reacts as she is crowned Miss America 2013 in Las Vegas. Gov. Chris Christie's spokesman Michael Drewniak on Wednesday night, Feb. 13, 2013 confirmed news of the Miss America pageant's return to Atlantic City. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is scheduled make a formal announcement Thursday on Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken, File)
Miss New York Nina Davuluri, front, is crowned as Miss America 2014 by Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J.
Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, top, crowns Miss New York Kira Kazantsev as Miss America 2015, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J.