First Indian-American Crowned Miss America
By JACKIE WILLIS
September 16, 2013
Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, made history on Sunday night, Sept. 15, 2013, when she became the first American of Indian descent to be crowned Miss America.
The 24-year-old, who performed a Bollywood dance routine for her talent, said of the honor during a press conference following the pageant held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, "I'm so happy this organization has embraced diversity. I'm thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America."
From Syracuse, NY, Davuluri is the second consecutive Miss New York to win the Miss America crown. She is succeeding Mallory Hogan.
Despite making history, a barrage of racist and negative tweets were made about Davuluri's win. "I have to rise above that," she said. "I always viewed myself as first and foremost American."
Former pageant star Shanna Moakler, however, tweeted her support for Davuluri, writing:
woohoooo Miss New York! East Coast for life!— Shanna Moakler (@ShannaMoakler) September 16, 2013
The new Miss USA competed on the "celebrating diversity through cultural competency" platform, and is applying to medical school to become a doctor. The pageant title came with a $50,000 scholarship reward.