Sunday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1957. This ad was made for the Rheingold Brewery, which was founded by the Liebmann family in 1883 in New York, New York. At its peak, it sold 35% of all the beer in New York state. In 1963, the family sold the brewery and in was shut down in 1976. In 1940, Philip Liebmann, great-grandson of the founder, Samuel Liebmann, started the “Miss Rheingold” pageant as the centerpiece of its marketing campaign. Beer drinkers voted each year on the young lady who would be featured as Miss Rheingold in advertisements. In the 1940s and 1950s in New York, “the selection of Miss Rheingold was as highly anticipated as the race for the White House.” The winning model was then featured in at least twelve monthly advertisements for the brewery, beginning in 1940 and ending in 1965. Beginning in 1941, the selection of next year’s Miss Rheingold was instituted and became wildly popular in the New York Area. Margie McNally was elected as Miss Rheingold 1957. She was born Margaret McNally on June 24, 1935, and grew up in Flushing, Queens, New York. She became a model and later married automobile publisher Robert E. Peterson in 1963. Together they had two sons, but the died tragically in a plane crash at ages 10 and 11, and thereafter she became active in charities for youth causes. In 1994, they opened the Petersen Auto Museum in Los Angeles, which is still open today. She passed away in 2011, at age 76. In this news item, from January, Miss Rheingold 1957, Margie McNally, is attending the 18th annual White Elephant Ball in New York City, posing with the charity event’s chairperson, Mrs. Robert Salant (who doesn’t even get her own name). The newspaper blurb has the curious headling, “Hope Their White Elephant Isn’t,” which frankly makes no sense to me.
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