Miss Vulcan

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Evelyn Tulley as Miss Vulcan

Miss Vulcan or Vulcan Queen was a one-time-only beauty contest, held in the Spring of 1939, pitting candidates who represented many of Birmingham's retail stores and social clubs. Photographs of the leading candidates were published in the newspaper and in frames in shop windows. 50-cent tickets were sold, each representing a vote for one of the candidates. Friends and supporters sold as many tickets as possible, with tallies updated daily in the papers and on the radio. The funds raised by selling votes went to offset the costs of the 10-day Vulcan Dedication Celebration which celebrated the opening of Vulcan Park on Red Mountain.

On the first night of the pageant, Erskine Ramsay crowned Evelyn Tulley, a 20-year-old clerk at Kress department store as "Miss Vulcan". A line of trumpeters heralded her walk down a red-carpeted aisle to her throne. As a prize, she received a week's paid vacation to make promotional appearances all over town.

In 2007, Red Mountain Theatre Company produced a musical inspired by the Miss Vulcan competition, entitled Miss Vulcan 1939.

References

  • Caldwell, Carla (March 21, 1999) "Queen in 1939 Evelyn Williams says it was 'like being Cinderella'." The Birmingham News
  • Caton, Bill (March 3, 2004) "Vulcan's Queen: Hoover woman recalls her special reign 65 years ago." The Birmingham News
  • Folse, Molly (September 6, 2007) "Pageant revival: New play re-imagines the crowning of Miss Vulcan 1939". Birmingham Weekly.
  • Kemp, Kathy (September 6, 2007) "Queen reigns again Winner reminisces about pageant that made her a queen".