Remembering Little Miss Louisville 1940

Submitted by Lynne Cunningham

In 1940 the Front-page news of the Journal was a contest for little tots and young ladies. Imagine the atmosphere of this era when the specter of Pearl Harbor and WWII was looming large before the country. This happy occasion, contest, must have provided a positive, local interest pivot point up against the war worries. The ladies auxiliary of the American Legion sponsored the revue much like the Pilot Club’s present day contest. Even the LHS Band participated in this program giving many young people of all ages a chance to join in.

Robertson in the 1940s.

Robertson in the 1940s.

The three winners (in the picture) of the “littlest” contestants (2-5 years) were Rebecca Cagle, 1st place; Corinne Francis Robertson, first runner-up; and Margaret Lynn Cunningham, second runner-up, competitors all in the winnowing process giving great pride to parents and public I’m sure.

Carolyn Mills picked up a notice of the pageant in the Journal’s “News of the Past” 75 years ago section, and mentioned it in her column “Let’s Be Neighbors”. A faithful subscriber and reader of the Journal, Louisville native now living in Chicago, saw an article, which mentioned Corinne Francis Robertson’s mother and the News of the Past. She is Mrs. Doris Roberson and she was a babysitter for Corinne Francis and her sister Carol Neville all those years ago. When she read in the Journal that Corinne’s mother had died at age 102 (the year of the devastating tornado in Louisville) she was inspired to return snapshots of the little girls she babysat given to her by Mrs. Robertson.

She delivered them to the Journal office hoping they would be given to Corinne and Carol’s grandchildren. The one shown of Corinne is from Mrs. Roberson’s scrapbook.

The winners from 1940

The winners from 1940

Lynne and her father LaMont during the 1940’s.

Lynne and her father LaMont during the 1940’s.

Rebecca Cagle’s father was an employee of the Journal for many years when Billy Hight was publisher-editor and Mr. Cagle was a familiar figure often walking from the Journal office to his home on N. Columbus Ave., past Louisville School, his red head bobbing, a very colorful figure. Rebecca remembers her disappointment in receiving a silver tinfoil crown as winner. She wanted candy! Her pretty contest dress was black velvet with white pique collar and cuffs.