The New York Subways Advertising Company ran a beauty contest between 1941 and 1976 for transit-inclined young women. To qualify, a woman had to be a New York City resident and herself use the subway. Winners were displayed inside subway cars, and a 1957 New York Times article estimated the photos were viewed by 5.9 million people every day.
"Unlike Miss America, these queens represented the full spectrum of their constituency, mainly Irish, Italian, Latina and Jewish. The first black winner reigned on the trains in 1947 (36 years before a black Miss America), the first Asian in 1949." Thelma Potter, who was studying at Brooklyn College at the time, was the first black Miss Subways. Potter stated, 'It was progressive. … It stirred things up a bit.'"Wikipedia page Miss Subways