Rose Parade Redemption For Former Beauty Queen - Six Decades Later
It was Rose Parade redemption nearly six decades in the making as 82-year-old Joan Williams waved from the lead float at the 126th Tournament Of Roses Parade.
She was supposed to ride on a parade back in 1958 when she was named Pasadena's "Miss Crown City." The honor was quickly taken away when city officials realized the fair-skinned beauty was African-American.
Joan told INSIDE EDITION, “It was devastating. I felt like I had a slap in the face. According to them, they hadn't checked their budget, I guess, and could no longer afford a float.”
It has taken all these years to make amends.
On New Year’s Day, Joan was invited to ride the float she should have appeared on 57 years ago.
INSIDE EDITION was there before the parade as Joan got a peak at her float, which was given the position of high honor as they lead float.
“I can hardly believe this is happening,” she said as she sat on it for the first time.
Sadly, her husband, a World War ll pilot who fought with the famed Tuskegee Airmen, was not there to share in the experience. He died in 1997.
Their daughter, Angela, said, “It's going to make me cry, it means a lot. It's finally going to happen.”
Joan also received a letter of apology from the current mayor of Pasadena that stated: "I hereby apologize to you for the experience you had as Miss Crown City in 1958 and thank you for accepting this year's invitation."
An historic moment and a step to right a decades-old wrong.