MARIANA THORNTONTHE FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN TO ENTER THE NATIONAL PRESS PHOTOGRAPHERS ASSOCIATION'S CONTEST
|Mariana Thornton,22, was an honor graduate of University of Colorado and worked as a therapeutic dietitian at Stanford California. She was visiting her parents in her hometown of Denver, Colorado in October 1957 when the brainy, beauteous and talented Mariana was asked to enter the race for Colorado's coveted "Miss Press Photographer" crown. Mariana, who measured 34-22-35, weighed 118 pounds and was 5'4 tall did not realize that when she accepted, she became the first African American girl to enter the National Press Photographers Association's elimination contest in Denver, Colorado. Mariana's fair complexion belied racial identity to many spectators because she looked lighter than some of her sun-tanned competitors. Had she won, Mariana would have been the first non-white competitior in the national contest that would be held in Minneapolis in spring the following year.