"The Night She Won Miss America" based on local figure
This isn't quite "Hackettstown In the News," but there's a new book coming out titled "The Night She Won Miss America," a fictional account of a Miss America winner who runs away with her beau the night of the pageant. While the main character of the novel is from Delaware, it's based off the true story of Miss America 1937, Hackettstown's own Bette Cooper, who ran away after winning the title. The Hackettstown Historical Society has a piece on Bette and her house, across the street from Centenary University, in their exhibit area.
If you are interested in the book, you can find it on Amazon here:
I also just looked up Bette Cooper on Wikipedia and she passed last December at the ripe old age of 97. RIP
Wow! I didn’t know this. That’s actually quite interesting so thank you for sharing.
From a recent Hackettstown Historical Society newsletter
Farewell Miss America
Elizabeth "Bette" Cooper Moore (1920 - 2017)
The final chapter has been written about Elizabeth "Bette" Cooper, better known as Miss America 1937. Bette was born on August 11, 1920, in Hackettstown, to Marin Lebrun and Mabel Speer Cooper.
Bette started pageant competition by accident on the dare of some friends. She entered at an amusement park. The title she won, Miss Bertrand Island, was a preliminary to the Miss America Pageant only in 1937. Bette was an outstanding and dedicated student and her parents were not completely in favor of a 'beauty competition'. The decision to go was finally based on the idea that, if nothing else, a trip to Atlantic City would be a nice family vacation. Her victory has gone down in history as comedy and fun, but at the time, Pageant officials couldn't find their collective sense of humor. Bette, having second thoughts about her commitment, took off with her Pageant male chaperone, Frank Off, in a motor boat. The two floated around Atlantic City until the boardwalk crowds dispersed. No other contestant was crowned Miss America in her absence, though several participants from that year have made claim to the title throughout the decades.
Bette attended Centenary Junior College in Hackettstown. After graduation, she lived in Kentucky for several years where she was employed as a buyer for a food company. She married William F. Moore in 1951, and the couple moved to Greenwich, where they raised two children; a daughter, Cheryl and a son, Gregory.
Bette lived a quiet life in Connecticut, refusing throughout her adult life to talk to reporters, the Pageant staff and others about her involvement. Elizabeth Cooper Moore died December 10, 2017, in Greenwich, CT, at the age of 97.
And then came the Archie comics (sigh) ... Betty and Veronica ... has WRNJ ever done a listener poll on which one the public likes best :-D Help Archie decide LOL ... my vote goes to Betty Cooper ...
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