The Miss America pageant has been conducted since 1921, but it's only been televised since 1954. Before then, it briefly had competition when the Miss U.S. Television contest, conducted by the DuMont Television Network, aired in 1950. Watch the full pageant at the internet archive, or a version edited for length below. It has a strange opening segment in which the contestants introduce themselves, framed by a fake TV set. Then they go on to their talent performances, some of which were truly awful. The winner was a young Edie Adams.
According to wikipedia, the Miss U.S. Television contest only took place once, but there must have been subsequent pageants that used the same title, since once can find women being crowned Miss U.S. Television in later years, such as Phyllis Maygers (below), who won the title in 1952.
I am taking the liberty of "reprinting" a page from the latest SpongeBob comic because it features the newest work from our resident genius artist Rick Altergott. The whole issue is hilarious, and you should grab one for yourself or any young budding WU-vie.
Anyone who ever fell for Diana Rigg as Emma Peel--and judging from the comments lately, there are many such among the WU-vies--will have their heads (and possibly other body parts) explode upon viewing this clip, which was banned in the USA at the time of its release.