Miss USA contestants descended on Graceland this week for the 2020 competition. Those not familiar with the pageant world might think Miss USA and Miss America are the same thing. They aren’t — they are separate pageants with several differences, including age range of contestants and areas of competition.

But the history of these two events is one filled with a colorful backstory and assortment of characters from movie stars to U.S. presidents Here are five things to know. The senior pageant among the two competitions, Miss America was established in 1921 — originally as the “Inter-City Beauty Contest” — and took place on the boardwalk of Atlantic City.

Nearly 100 years later the event is still going strong and has been a familiar staple of Americana. As Miss America’s official website notes, it has “been one of the country’s most recognizable household names and has been at the center of everything from national trends to social movements to the birth of television.”

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