Miss America Contestants Make Debut

Contestants in this year's Miss America (searchpageant made their debut in Atlantic City on Sunday, dressed in fashions from the 1950s.

A crowd of several hundred people gathered on the city's boardwalk to watch introductions of the 52 contestants. Their attire was a tip of the hat to the 50th anniversary of the first Miss America telecast, but strong winds made it hard for the women to keep on their pillbox-style hats.

Miss Louisiana, Jennifer Dupont, was wearing a silk suit with a mink collar and a mink piece of headwear that looked like a halo.

"I would like it if this came back in fashion," Dupont said.

The pageant finals are scheduled for Sept. 18, and the telecast has been extensively revised.

The program has been trimmed from three hours to two. Instead of seeing the talent performances of all five finalists, viewers will see only the final two. Viewers will also see scenes from backstage.

The contestants represent all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.