Marjean Langley of Milton-Freewater took the crown during the 1968 Miss Oregon Pageant in Seaside, representing Umatilla County. After taking top honors for the state Langley also traveled to Atlantic City, N.J., to compete for the highest honor in American pageantdom, Miss America. She was named third runner-up.
Marjean came away from the Miss America pageant with $3,500 in scholarships, a new wardrobe, and a car donated by Oldsmobile. But the down-to-earth 19-year-old daughter of Gene and Marjorie Langley hadn’t lost her “relax and have fun” philosophy, and was happy to wash off all the makeup required for pageant appearances and photo shoots.
She returned to Milton-Freewater after the Miss America pageant to prepare for her year representing the state of Oregon. She visited with a crowd of city residents at the Rotary Club meeting to talk about her planned appearances as Miss Oregon, including visits to hospitals, civic groups and high schools, and the possibility to join Miss America and other runners-up on a USO tour. “I’m practicing some soft shoe dance routines for these appearances,” she said. She also stopped by McLoughlin Union High School to tell the student body about her trip, and the First Christian Church, where she had been an active member, to see friends attending a district meeting of the Oregon Federation of Women’s Clubs.
Marjean also expressed her heartfelt thanks to the community that supported her through her pageant run. “You can’t know how much it meant to come in every evening after the events at Atlantic City and find all those heartfelt message, wires, notes, flowers. ... I knew you were all behind me and that I wasn’t ‘on my own.’”
The Langley family planned to find a homelike apartment in Portland for the duration of Marjean’s year as Miss Oregon. Following her reign Marjean planned to return to Linfield College, where she was studying to become social worker for children with physical disabilities.