In 1899, a “young and beautiful Jewess” came close to winning a pageant in Wichita, Kansas. Why? Mississippi Fred MacDowell reproduces a contemporary newspaper report and explains:
Wichita, Kansas very nearly elected Miss Sadie Joseph queen of the Flower Parade at the fall carnival because they really didn’t like the verdict against Captain Alfred Dreyfus in France. Some of the history books say she was elected, but I checked, and she just could not beat Miss Mayme Mahaney. However, many hearts were in the right place in this corner of Music Man-era America.