Museum Acquires National Cotton Council and “Maid of Cotton” Program Documents

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WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History recently acquired archival materials from the Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange. The collection includes photos, films and slides that depict cotton production, as well as the complete archives from the “Maid of Cotton” beauty pageant program that the National Cotton Council operated from 1939-1993. The collection also includes photos of every aspect of cotton farming and more than 200 films produced by the NCC, from the 1960s to the 1980s, demonstrating cotton’s versatility and use in consumer goods; it will be housed in the museum’s Archives Center. The NCC, founded in 1939, is the central trade association of the American cotton industry. The “Maid of Cotton” pageant was held each December in Memphis, Tenn., as part of the city’s Cotton Carnival festivities. “The Maid of Cotton”, the winner of the pageant