A queen in our midst

Mrs. America competitor moves to Ashby Ponds

In 1963, Barbara Hanson was the reigning Mrs. District of Columbia and on her way to Miami Beach to vie for the title of Mrs. America, a nationwide competition highlighting beauty, talent and homemaking skills.

"It was a wonderful contest and so much fun," says Barbara, now a resident of Ashby Ponds in Loudoun County. "Our goal was to show that you could handle the responsibilities of being a homemaker, wife and mother—all with poise and dignity."

Although she didn't take home the title of Mrs. America, Barbara says she's grateful for the experience. "I met a lot of great gals. In fact, I still communicate with Mrs. Alaska and Mrs. New Hampshire."

As Mrs. District of Columbia, Barbara spent a year making personal appearances in and around the city. She was even asked to go to Atlantic City to judge the Mrs. Senior America pageant. "It was a wonderful year in my life and I have memories that I will treasure always," she says.

Barbara Hanson