Found Footage: Sarah Palin's 1984 Miss Alaska Pageant Video, Swimsuit Competition

Somehow, a 22-year-old University of Alaska student named Richard Millay got his hands on a videotape that’s eluded the media since John McCain asked Sarah Palin to be his running-mate — original footage of her 1984 Miss Alaska Pageant.

Of course, this is all very frivolous and has nothing to do with the current campaign. But like Barack Obama’s high school basketball footage, it’s a little glimpse into the early life of a highly-visible national figure.

In the first part added to YouTube, he posted the portion from the swimsuit competition, prefaced by a brief introduction mentioning the demand for the “88 minutes of Alaska Gold.”

Update: The original video was removed, but I managed to save a copy of the relevant footage without Richard’s original intro. YouTube’s removing every copy of this video, so I’m streaming the clip below from my own server. It won’t be removed.

As the future vice-presidential candidate parades on stage, an off-screen announcer reads her early biography: “Contestant #8, Sarah Heath. Sarah says that she wants to prepare for a career in television broadcasting by majoring in Telecommunications and Political Science. It’s no wonder that she has also been recognized by Who’s Who, since she has displayed her leadership in all areas, from academics to student politics to athletics, having led her basketball team to the championship at the state tournament. Ladies and gentleman, contestant #8, Sarah Heath.”

I’ve emailed Richard asking for a brief interview, and will update here if he gets in touch. (Thanks to Jeff Milner for the original tip this morning.)

October 13: I spoke to Richard by email, and he told me the tape belongs to his mother, who entered the pageant as Miss Juneau, with Sarah as Miss Wasilla. He’s in the process of locating the Q&A segment on another videotape, and will post it if he does.October 1: Richard released his second video of the talent portion of the competition. He wrote, “I must apologize for the delay of this footage being released, for I have been unnecessarily mired in some copyright issues. More to come on that later.”

In the clip, the announcer says, “Sarah’s an accomplished flautist who has been performing for ten years. She will be playing ‘The Homecoming’ as written by Hagood Hardy and arranged by Sarah’s favorite artist, James Galway.”

October 6: Richard released the third video, the evening gown competition. Palin says, “God has made us this promise — if we will commit our works to Him, we will succeed. Our lives can be enhanced by applying this and by thinking optimistically. In Alaska, we have mosquitoes… We also have the most beautiful mountains in the world. The choice is ours as to which we’ll focus on.”


    Wow. She’s dynamite.

    You gotta hand it to this woman. Everywhere she has gotten in life, she had to pretty much do it on her own.

    If Splash News wants it down, they can send a DCMA notice. They’ll get it down and/or you’ll be out thousands of dollars.

    In the meantime, our future President is hot!

    “She has one hell of a booty too.”

    Yes she does.

    Its a strange situation where she’s recognized by Who’s Who, but couldn’t herself recognize most of the people in Who’s Who. (Overheard before ushered in to meet Karzai, “What’s his name again?”)

    She was hot in a 1984 kind of way (hmm…1984…does that mean something?). She’s smart. And like Tom wrote above, she works hard on her agenda.

    Fortunately, she’s also unseasoned and that shows everywhere she goes. But she learns quickly and we will see Palin at the national level again now that she has had a taste. Be forewarned.

    This video keeps getting pulled due to copyright, that is a copyright on the pageant. The Miss America folks own everything and I’m sure that’s why YouTube and everyone else pulls this down. If it don’t make money for the Pageant, then it don’t get shown. Check out the Formula One race crows if you want to see a fanatic bunch of protectionists, they make Disney look like kindergartners.

    Splash News needs to actually own the copyright before they can legally issue a DMCA notice. Do they have proof of that?

    She was lovely an poised and is even more so now. I know I’d have tripped or pulled my suit down or something else that I’d never live down.

    She got some college money from this, which was her goal – more power to her.

    More importantly, she is smart and fresh and does the right thing for the people. She has not been packaged and prefabbed by DC, and that is a GOOD thing, people

    I think we are looking at the first female President.

    I’m waiting for Gloria Steinem to comment on how unliberated a beauty queen is compared to a Playboy Bunny!

    The Beltway elite and old media just don’t get it: Every hysterical criticism of Governor Sarah Palin just endears her more to us common folk out in “flyover country” and makes it more likely that she will be the next Vice President of the United States. We love that she’s a hockey and PTA mom, that she got everything she has by her own hard work, that her husband is a blue collar man and that she is a hunter and sportswoman. Don’t be too shocked when McCain/palin beats Obama/Biden in a landslide November 4th!

    Wow. Interesting. Even then she had remarkable polish and poise. Voters should not underestimate this woman. She’s still new on the scene, but she’s a very quick study and smart. She’ll be a seasoned pro in no time.

    The embed for that video appears not to work on any site that does not accept javascript. Have you considered a player that does work on those? Youtube, etc., don’t have that problem.

    About Who’s Who —

    when I was in college, lo those many years ago, I was in Who’s Who. It’s my impression that every student leader who is listed in any school publication gets an invitation to join. All you do is fill out the application (you provide the info on yourself.) This was many years before Sarah Heath was in her H.S. Who’s Who, so I guess the publishers found a way to broaden their market, ’cause, truth be told, Who’s Who publications are just a gimmick to get people to buy books that show their names.

    I’m now treasurer of a volunteer organization in Maryland and guess what — last week’s mail brought an announcement to the outgoing treasurer that she was selected for Who’s Who. All she had to do was fill out the personal information form…… And so it goes.

    Awesome. I love that type of bod, can’t get enough. She’s who we should all want to see recite the pledge every day for the next four years.

    Dunno about the best-known edition, but the spinoffs like “Who’s Who of High School Students” and such *charge* for the entries they invite the subjects to make.

    Who’s Who has alway been a scam to fleece the self-indulgent and egomaniacs. As mentioned above, throwing in any student who is listed in the the student government or made some honor like valedictorian is an easy way to fill the books.

    A friend of mine got a phone call from Who’s Who. It started with an interview for his appearance in the book and was apparently motivated by his father being somewhat famous in several fields. He strung them along until they asked, “To what do you attribute your success?”

    He answered, “Blatant nepotism!”

    The interview went downhill from there and they didn’t sell him any books.

    Who’s Who doesn’t charge as far as I know. I got an offer in high school too– probably for high standardized test scores, because I didn’t do anything noteworthy. They make their money by offering flattery and then charging for a fancy book for people to show off to their friends. I was tempted, though my parents knew better. I did fill out the form though :).

    Why the hell would it get taken down? You can’t file any sort of DMCA notice on a home video.

    Complete bullshit on YouTube’s part, as usual I might add.

    Yes, and Sarah’s still a beauty, but a better one with a soul, a heart, and great conviction that we have come to know.

    That being said, you guys are like a bunch of bucks scratching you antlers on the nearest tree! Good for you…you still know a good thing when you see it!

    I heard they edited the part where she and every pageant says she is for world peace most of all!!!

    Andy will you be offering him to stream the rest of his Sarah Palin footage as well. I believe enough people would be interested and he said on his original youtube upload that there was more to come.

    Important to remember:

    Her prize winnings from this beauty pageant paid for her college education.

    I agree with some of the commenters so far – stuff like this makes her look endearing.

    She does look very graceful too. I was in the Miss Connecticut pageant and I fell during evening gown and ripped my dress up the back. So I know how hard it is.

    I do sincerely hope that the media backs off for a bit, so the country can try to get to know her. Everyone else in the campaign is REALLY well-known, and ever since she came on the scene, she’s been under attack.

    Can’t wait to see the other videos!

    It’s here w/ Rich’s intro – over 3000 views now:

    Why would YouTube pull this? Is it a copyright issue or what?

    And @Michael. We’re all grown-up, ok? It has NOTHING to do with her being VP, nothing at all. It’s just entertaining because it’s topical, and because most Americans have a sense of humor. But thanks for the lecture!

    Well, American politics and political thought are the equivalent of a low-rent Alaskan beauty contest. That makes her qualified, I suppose.


    … just endears her more to us common folk out in “flyover country” and makes it more likely that she will be the next Vice President of the United States.

    Why do some Americans want average common folk in the Whitehouse? I have no problem with elite folks running the government. Would you want your brain surgeon or your accountant to be common/average, or would you prefer them to be elite?

    BAHHHHHAAAH!…she’s got a hamster butt with some sagging cargo. Things must be tough up there in the cold.

    Jeez, I can just see O Reilly now, hmm how are the loofah futures doing on the exchange?

    All those pimply faced Young Americans Fascists or Young Rejects are probably having a good time this weekend on endless loops.

    All those evangelicals are going to have heart attacks they see this stuff.

    Hey, maybe they can use this video as a lead in to the debate this Thursday night, October 2nd!

    She’d win the debate for sure. My Lord, she is a beauty!

    For those who aren’t aware, Who’s Who is hardly more than a “vanity press” publication where you generally pay to have your name included. Same with “Who’s Who in the West” and other like publications.

    As much as I hate to stifle the high level of discourse going on here, I’m shutting down comments.

    If you have something meaningful to add or some important news (like additional footage!), contact me by email or IM using my information at the top of the page..

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