Vicksburg, Miss. (WLBT) - The Miss America program began in 1921 and since that time it has provided $45 million in scholarships to women.
It began as a swimsuit competition and believe it or not the first two piece was worn in 1947.
Miss Mississippi, Sarah Beth James, will compete for the national title in January and is showing off some of her wardrobe for the trip to Las Vegas.
There are several possible for swimsuits Miss Mississippi will wear at the Miss America competition.
It is now called lifestyle and fitness.
Miss Mississippi says she has been preparing in a number of ways.
"I actually ran a 12k (Saturday) and it was my first run so I'm really happy to still be alive and breathing right now. I am a little sore", James said.
In addition to swimwear, Miss Mississippi has also prepared for talent and interview.
"I've always felt that interview is the most important area of competition and that is the one that we've really worked hard to be consistent in, and still be true to ourselves but play towards what Miss America needs to be. And she needs to be kind of that classic, new age girl", James said.
James says one thing judges at Miss America will be looking for is flexibility and a well rounded young woman who can relate to America's diverse culture.
"She needs to be able to know who she is and stand for who she is and still be able to have that open mind and that tolerance for people who are different because she represents all of America, the most diverse country in the world", James said.
Miss Mississippi leaves for Las Vegas January 6th.
James is hoping to see a big delegation from Mississippi to cheer her on, as she competes to be the fifth woman from this state to win the Miss America title.
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