People, Oct. 13, 1958

It was a bang-up day in tiny (pop. 1,827) Brandon, Miss. Back from her triumphs in Yankeeland, back for the flashbulbs, the high-school bands, the parades and the sorghum-sweet welcome, came the local girl who had made good: willowy, winsome Mary Ann Mobley, 21, Miss America of 1958. Throughout the weekend celebrations in Jackson, Vicksburg and Brandon, Mary Ann smiled graciously, accepted tokens of esteem (including TV sets and a dozen hams), broke down when she saw that Brandon had renamed Main Street as Mary Ann Brive.

There was one point when Dr. Norman...