Did you know- America’s Chelsi Smith, a black girl, became the first woman from Texas to win the MU trophy in the mid-90s. Smith’s triumph was all more stunning because it happened in Namibia, the youngest nation in the last decade of the 20th century. After meeting with Namibia’s Head of State Sam Nujoma, an ex Marxist guerrilla in the 1970s and 1980s, she traveled to America. During the course of her reign, she visited a host of cities, including Taipei (Taiwan), Lima (Peru), and Tokyo (Japan). Smith was one of the few female black to win the Miss Universe.
Did you know- By 2003, San Antonio hosted the Miss USA Pageant. Meanwhile, Nicole O’Brian, the host delegate, was second runner-up.
Did you know- Miss Texas Universe 1984, Laura Shaw, did not even make the semi-finals in the Miss United States Pageant, but won the Miss Photogenic trophy.
Did you know- Texas won the Miss USA Universe Contest for the five straight time in the 80s. That was a huge deal in this pageant-mad state. In addition to this, it boasted four other Miss USA trophies: 1977, 1995, 2001, and 2008, making it the America’s leading producer of beauty queens.
Did you know- On March 1, 1988, the Miss United States Pageant was held in El Paso, TX.
Laura Martinez Herring
Did you know- When the Mexican-born American student Laura Elena Martinez-Herring won the Miss USA Universe 1985 title, she was considered by many experts to be the United States’ greatest foreign-born beauty queen. At the beginning of 1985, She, Miss Texas, had won the national title in Lakeland, Florida. After winning the nation’s top beauty contest, she competed at the 33rd Miss Universe Pageant in Miami Beach, FL. Since the onset of the international event, Miss United States 1985 was one of the pre-pageant favorites, along with other candidates such as Sylvia Martinez (Venezuela’s delegate), Teresa Sanchez (Spain’s contestant) Julia Mora (El Salvador’s delegate) and Sandra Borda Caldas (Colombia). Venezuela’s Martinez had won the Miss South America title in Lima, Peru. In the final, Miss Martinez-Herring was selected among the 10 best delegates of the Miss Universe. From then on, she has inspired a number of beauty queens in Texas: From Christy Crane Fitchner and Michelle Renee Royer to Kandace Krueger and Crystle Stewart. By the late 1990s, she became an actress. Since then, she has been involved in many films such as “The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory” (1987), “Beauty and the Beast” (1988), “Alien Nation” (1989), “The Forbidden Dance” (1990), “Exit to Eden” (1994), “Flipper” (1995), “Frasier” (1998), “Rabbits” (2002), and “The Punisher” (2004).
Elizabeth LuAnn Caughey
Did you know- Miss Texas, Elizabeth LuAnn Caughey, became first runner-up at the 1982 Miss USA and then she represented her country at the Miss World in London, England. In the United Kingdom, she came in seventh place. Curiously, Miss Texas Lisa Gayle Allred, Caughey’s successor, finished second in Miss United States Universe 1983. During the event, Allred, the heavy favorite to win the American contest, won the Miss Photogenic Award. She also competed in the Miss World 1983, where was one of seven finalists.
Guevara Onofre, Alejandro. “Miss USA Universe: Fascinating Facts”, www.ezinearticles.com, October 13, 2009
www.youtube.com: Miss Universe 1995
www.youtube.com: Miss USA 1995