September 17 – Vanessa Williams becomes first black Miss America

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September 17 Vanessa Williams

September 17, 1983: Vanessa Williams becomes first black Miss America.

Vanessa Williams became the first African American to win the Miss America crown at age 20 on September 17, 1983. Less than a year later, on July 23, 1984, Williams gave up her crown after nude photos of hers surfaced. Despite the scandal, Williams later launched a successful singing and acting career, including a featured role on the television sitcom, Ugly Betty.

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