Today in History: Vanessa Williams crowned first black Miss America

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On This Day - 17th September

Thirty-two years ago today on September 17, 1983, Vanessa Williams became the first black woman to be crowned Miss America, winning the esteemed title at just 20-years-old.

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Williams made history by becoming the first black woman crowned in the pageant's 63-years. In fact, during Miss America's first 30 years of competition, black women were not even allowed to compete.

Miss America Pageant - Season 1
Unfortunately, this historical win didn't come without controversy. Ten months after Williams was crowned, Penthouse magazine published nude photos of Williams that were taken in the past. Williams felt pressured by Miss America Pageant officials to resign, and did so in a press conference in 1984.

Vanessa Williams
However, Williams didn't let this controversy slow down her career. She went on to star in feature films like "Eraser" and "Soulfood," along with the award-winning TV series "Ugly Betty." Vanessa Williams certainly is a fabulous woman, and we honor her on this day.

Take a look to see Vanessa Williams through the years:

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Vanessa Williams through the years
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Today in History: Vanessa Williams crowned first black Miss America
Actress and singer Vanessa Williams sings during in the 2016 Miss America pageant, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in Atlantic City, N.J. Williams is returning to the pageant as head judge for the first time in more than three decades since she resigned the title amid a nude photo scandal. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
Vanessa Williams, representing New York State, is shown during her coronation walk holding the scepter after she is crowned Miss America 1984 at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 17, 1983. Williams, of Syracuse, is the first African American to win the competition. (AP Photo/Jack Kanthal)
FILE - In this Sept. 17, 1983 file photo, Miss New York Vanessa Williams is crowned Miss America 1984 at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J. The Miss America Organization, Dick Clark Productions and the ABC television network announced Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, that they are bringing back the actress and singer to serve as head judge for the 2016 competition. Williams won the title in 1984 but resigned after Penthouse magazine published sexually explicit photographs of her taken several years earlier. (AP Photo, File)
Vanessa Williams performs the song "Colors of the Wind" at the 68th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Monday, March 25, 1996. The song is nominated for Best Song from the film "Pocahontas." (AP Photo/Eric Draper)
28 Jan 1996: Singer Vanessa Williams sings the national anthem prior to the Dallas Cowboys game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. The Cowboys defeated the Steelers 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Mike Powe
VANCOUVER, CANADA: Singer-actress Vanessa Williams of the US holds her 10-month-old daughter Sasha Fox as the child watches her father, Los Angeles Laker Rick Fox, on the the big screen during warm up before an NBA game against the Vancouver Grizzlies 03 March 2001 in Vancouver. The Lakers defeated the Grizzlies 98-88. AFP PHOTO/Kim STALKNECHT (Photo credit should read KIM STALLKNECHT/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - APRIL 11: Actress/recording artist Vanessa L. Williams attends the film premiere of 'Holes' at the El Capitan Theater on APRIL 11, 2003 in Hollywood, California. The film opens in theaters nation wide on April 18, 2003. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 6: Model Vanessa Williams walks the runway at the Heart Truth fashion show during Olympus 2004 Fashion Week in Bryant Park February 6, 2004 New York City. (Photo by Matthew Peyton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 04: Actress Vanessa Williams attends the Kenneth Cole Fall 2005 show during the Olympus Fashion Week at Bryant Park February 4, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Vanessa Williams sings the National Anthem before the start of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Daytona 500 on February 20, 2005 at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 20: Actress and singer Vanessa Williams attends the Apollo Theater 2005 Spring Benefit 'The Magic Lives On' at the Apollo Theater June 20, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 20: Actor/singers Vanessa Williams and Darius DeHaas perform during the Apollo Theater 2005 Spring Benefit 'The Magic Lives On' at the Apollo Theater June 20, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - JULY 08: Actress Vanessa Williams arrives at the Stephen Sondheim's 75th Birthday Concert And ASCAP Foundation Benefit at the Hollywood Bowl on July 8, 2005 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - MARCH 24: Actress/Singer Vanessa Williams treats the audience to a song during the Larry King Cardiac Foundation's annual 'An Evening with Larry King and Friends' fundraising gala dinner on March 24, 2006 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chris Greenberg/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 15: Actress Vanessa Williams arrives at the 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton on January 15, 2007 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 28: Actress Vanessa Williams arrives at the 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 28, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 02: Actress Vanessa Williams accepts the award for 'Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series' for her work in 'Ugly Betty' onstage during the 38th annual NAACP Image Awards pre-show held at the Shrine Auditorium on March 2, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 30: Actor Vanessa Williams attends The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presents An Evening with 'Ugly Betty' at The Leonard Goldenson Theater on April 30, 2007 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 4: Actress, singer Vanessa Williams poses inside during the 25th Anniversary of the Annual CFDA Fashion Awards held at the New York Public Library June 4, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images for CFDA)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 26: Actress Vanessa Williams arrives at the 60th annual DGA Awards held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on January 26, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Toby Canham/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 14: Actress Vanessa Williams poses for a portrait at the 39th NAACP Image Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on February 14, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images for NAACP)
NEW YORK - APRIL 09: Singer, Actress Vanessa Williams attends Lincoln Center's annual Spring Gala honoring Robert A. Iger at Damrosch Park on April 09, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Wintrow/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 08: Actress Vanessa Williams (L) and daughter Sasha Gabriella Fox arrive at the 6th annual 'TV Land Awards' held at Barker Hanger on June 8, 2008 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for TV Land)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 08: Host Vanessa Williams speaks onstage during the 6th annual 'TV Land Awards' held at Barker Hangar on June 8, 2008 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for TV Land)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 25: Vanessa Williams attends the opening night celebration of the New York City Ballet at David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center on November 25, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 12: Actress Vanessa Williams attends the March of Dimes 34th annual Beauty Ball at Cipriani 42nd Street on March 12, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 09: Singer Vanessa Williams attends the 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' premiere at Ziegfeld Theatre on July 9, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 28: Singer/actress Vanessa L. Williams performs at rehearsals for the 36th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards at the Orpheum Theater on August 28, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Host Vanessa Williams (C) performs during the 36th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at The Orpheum Theatre on August 30, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for ATI)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Host Vanessa Williams performs during the 36th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at The Orpheum Theatre on August 30, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for ATI)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Actress Vanessa Williams arrives at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Nokia Theatre on September 20, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: Actress Vanessa Williams attends the BAFTA Los Angeles Awards Season Tea in Association with The Four Seasons and Bombay Sapphire at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles on January 15, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images For BAFTA Los Angeles)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 04: Actress Vanessa Williams accepts the award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series onstage at the 42nd NAACP Image Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on March 4, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 16: Dancers Vanessa Williams(L) and Maksim Chmerkovskiy perform onstage during the 19th annual 'A Night At Sardi's' fundraiser and awards dinner benefitting the Alzheimer's Association at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 16, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Alzheimer's Association)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - APRIL 21: Actress Vanessa Williams attends 2nd Annual Wisteria Lane Block Party at Universal Studios Backlot on April 21, 2012 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Actress Vanessa Williams attends the after party for the Broadway opening night of 'The Trip To Bountiful' at Copacabana on April 23, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 07: (L-R) Melanie Hervey, Vanessa Williams and Adepero Oduye attend Carmen Marc Valvo fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2014 at The Salon at Lincoln Center on February 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Carmen Marc Valvo)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 31: Actress and singer Vanessa Williams performs during the opening ceremony on Day One of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 31, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 13: Executive Chairman and CEO for Miss America Sam Haskell III and Vanessa Williams speak onstage during the 2016 Miss America Competition at Boardwalk Hall Arena on September 13, 2015 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for dcp)
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