Miss Subways Reunion

May 2, 2024 at 11 am

Join us on Thursday, May 2nd at 11am as Ellen Hart, winner of Miss Subway 1959 and owner of the world-famous Broadway diner with singing waitstaff, joins fellow awardees to look back on their fascinating lives after winning Miss Subways. On this day twelve winners will gather to honor their achievements at the retro-themed diner located within the heart of New York. The reunion will not only recognize the women’s impact on the culture of New York’s subways, but will also highlight the shared values of hardworking women in New York. To name a few women who will be in attendance, Mary Gardiner Timoney (May-June 1953) went on to perform at Radio City Music Hall, Maureen Walsh Roaldsen (February-August 1968) worked as a lawyer at the New York State Appellate Court, and Heidi Hafner (May-October 1976), the final Miss Subway, earned her pilot’s license. The Miss Subways are extraordinary women whose faces and stories conveyed to the everyday New Yorker a reality that could be theirs with persistence and a dream.

In addition to the above, other Miss Subways expected to join include Dolores Mitchell Byrne (January-February 1961), Eilene Ryan Keating (July-August 1969), Gail Burke Zorpette (May-June 1959), Josephine Lazzaro O’Halloran (December 1975-April 1976), Kathleen McLean Holmes (November-December 1953), Ros Cinclini Catena (January 1965), Shirley Martin (May-June 1960), and Sonia Dominguez (June-October 1974). At the reunion, all will proudly share their original posters from the Miss Subways promotion, which also line the walls of the diner year-round. As a special guest, Ellen’s will also welcome the legendary Marilyn Maye, a renowned cabaret performer who was crowned Honorary Miss Subways in 2019.


Miss Subways


Marilyn Maye was made an Honorary Miss Subway as the Ladies of New York City’s very own beauty contest (1941 – 1976) celebrated with a Reunion at Ellen’s Stardust Diner hosted by owner Ellen Hart (Miss Subway 1959). All of these wonderful women are absolute proof that Beauty is Ageless! “Miss Subways” was a title accorded to individual New York City women between 1941 and 1976. 

The woman who was Miss Subway at any one time appeared on posters placed on New York City Subway trains , along with a brief description of her. In 1957, it was estimated that 5.9. million people viewed Miss Subway daily, using 14,000 placards within trains. The program was run by the New York Subway Advertising Company. Around 200 women held the title during the program’s run. Ellen Hart has held many Miss Subway reunions over the years.

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The Subway Girls | Meet Miss Subways

Our Books

The Miss Subways phenomenon was very important to the people of Manhattan, and has lived happily in the memory of many New Yorkers who lived in that time. 
Read more about the books that were inspired by the pageant.  

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The Subway Girls | Meet Miss Subways