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c. 1950s

The contest that had California seeing double

Twouldn't it be nice to be a twin?

The first Southern California twins contest was held at Long Beach in 1935, before relocating to Huntington.

By 1940, some 150 twins were in attendance, and eight years later, that number had increased to 600—plus a whole lot of parents, grandparents siblings and tourists. Various movie stars were invited to join, as were celebrity judges including Miss California. 

At each convention, all twins paraded to the Beach Bowl down Main Street.  The Mayor of Huntington Beach and the Chair of the Chamber of Commerce took turns introducing each pair of twins on to the outer Bowl Stage—a process that ran for up to two hours. The event was filmed by Movietone News and shown in movie theaters across the USA. 

The twins were of all ages, from babies to seniors. In 1940, the youngest twins were 6 weeks old, and the oldest were 84. And no-one went home empty handed—every twin received a commemorative medal. Or two.

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Huntington Beach, September 1951.
University of Southern California/Getty Images
Huntington Beach, September 1951.
University of Southern California/Getty Images
Huntington Beach, September 1951.
University of Southern California/Getty Images
Huntington Beach, August 1952.
University of Southern California/Getty Images
Huntington Beach, August 1952.
University of Southern California/Getty Images
Huntington Beach, August 1952.
University of Southern California/Getty Images
Huntington Beach, September 1951.
University of Southern California/Getty Images
Huntington Beach, 1952.
Getty Images
Huntington Beach, 1952.
Getty Images
Huntington Beach, 1952.
Getty Images
A policeman holding twin girls at a Twins Party.
Stan Wayman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Twin girls posing for a picture at a Twins Party, 1955
Stan Wayman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Twin siblings crying at a Twins Party, 1955.
Stan Wayman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Twin boys carrying an infant pair of twins at a Twins Party, 1955.
Stan Wayman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

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