Claim: Photograph shows a young Nancy Pelosi as "Miss Lube Rack" of 1959.
Examples:[Collected via e-mail, April 2013]
The attached photograph is going around the Internet claiming the woman in the picture is none other than Nancy Pelosi. (Nancy D’Alesandro back in 1959.)
Origins: This image of a young woman selected as "Miss Lube Rack" of 1959 (or 1955), striking a cheesecake-style pose in an automobile service bay surrounded by five auto service techs, was circulated on the Internet beginning in March 2013, accompanied by text claiming it to be a photograph of U.S. Representative (and former Speaker of the House) Nancy Pelosi of California, who was born Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro in 1940.
The photo is real, but the identification of the woman pictured as being a teenaged Nancy Pelosi is nothing but a bit of political tomfoolery. As noted at the Along for the Ride blog, this picture was one of a series of photographs taken by LIFE magazine photographer Allan Grant in June 1951 at a promotional event for an automobile/appliance complex in Los Angeles:
In 1951 the Muller Bros., an Oldsmobile-Firestone Tire-Car Wash-Cafe-Body Shop-Home Appliance-Auto Supply Dealer located at Sunset and Ivar in L.A., California, named their complex "The Landing." With good reason, they had everything you could want on one lot. It was giant compared to most new and used car dealers of the time, [it] even had a control tower. They came up with the idea to hold a beauty contest to celebrate the 3,000,000th car to be pulled through its car wash. Life Magazine was there to photo-document the PR event for the rest of us to look back on. Obviously, all the girls, the winner of the beauty contest, and the car wash winning dude, look pretty happy.
(The full series of photographs from this event can be viewed here.)
The dating of this photo to 1959 is a fiction concocted to make it plausible that the woman pictured could be a young Nancy Pelosi; in fact the photograph was taken in 1951, when Nancy D'Alesandro was but eleven years old and was living thousands of miles away from Los Angeles in Baltimore, Maryland (her father was mayor of that city from 1947 to 1959); quite obviously the young woman pictured as Los Angeles' "Miss Lube Rack" of 1951 is not a prepubescent girl and therefore could not be eleven-year-old Nancy D'Alesandro of Baltimore, now better known as U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi.
Moreover, pictures of Nancy D'Alesandro taken when she was about 20 years old show that although she once bore a slight resemblance to the woman who was selected as "Miss Lube Rack" back in 1951, they were clearly not the same person:
founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.