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N.D. Teen Queen


Every girl’s a princess—or at least, so said Frances Hodgson Burnett in her book, “A little princess.” But not every girl gets the chance to get crowned.

In 1968, Nelson County supported four girls, Cathy Kinneberg, Lyla Frederikson and Miss Sandra Ternquist, all from the town of Petersburg, as well as Sharon Haas, of Tolna, and in their entrance as contestants into the Miss North Dakota Teenager Pageant.

The paper reported that this was the first time a Miss North Dakota Teenager pageant would be staged, and that the contest would be held at the Civic Auditorium in Fargo on the 16th of August at 8 pm. The contest, and the crowning, would serve as the official ‘kickoff’ for the Red River Valley Fair which was to begin immediately the next day.

By this day, the results were already in, and the people of Nelson County had plenty to talk about, with the start of this new pageant. Sixty-five girls from all across the state were vying for the position of North Dakota celebrity. Of the 65, however, one of the young ladies from Nelson County, Sandra Ternquist, was picked to be among the top 22 semi-finalists.

The preliminary judging was done the day before the contest, and the girls were able to appear in formal wear and answer questions posed to them by a panel of five judges. Before that, the girls showcased their talents and skills. When it came time for the dress contest, all of the Nelson County girls wore dresses that they made themselves. Some of the girls played out skits and monologues, and one of the other Nelson County girls performed “a spectacular fire-baton routine.”

The winner of the contest was Miss Dee Ann Allen of Minot. She performed acrobatic ballet as her talent. Dee Ann was also chosen by all of the girls to be Miss Congeniality. Also, she was to serve as the State 4-H representative and a spokesperson for the Cancer Society. And, of course, she would serve in the ninth annual Miss America Teen-Ager pageant at Palisade, New Jersey.

The contestants varied in age from 13 to 17, and were judged for their scholarship, their poise and personality, and, of course, their appearance.

But the judges also recognized and told them that they all served as outstanding representatives for North Dakota teenagers. They knew a princess when they saw one.


Nelson County Arena, August 23, 1968

Nelson County Arena, August 16, 1968