Skip to main content

The 13th Academy Awards Memorable Moments

13th Oscars

Best Picture: Rebecca 

Rebecca also won the Academy Award for Black-and-White Cinematography (George Barnes).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a six-minute, direct-line radio address from the White House, paying tribute to the work being done by Hollywood's citizenry. This was the first time an American president had participated in an Academy Awards evening.

For the first time, the names of all the winners were kept secret until they were announced during the ceremony.

Walter Brennan became the first performer to win three Academy Awards for acting (for his supporting performances in Come and Get It in 1936, Kentucky in 1938, and The Westerner in 1940). 

Bob Hope was the master of ceremonies.

In February 1940, RKO released Walt Disney's Pinocchio. It won Academy Awards for Song and Original Score.

In April 1940, Booker T. Washington became the first African-American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp. 

In May 1940, the McDonald brothers opened their first restaurant, McDonald's Bar-B-Que, in San Bernardino, California. (The restaurant chain bearing the McDonald's name and featuring the familiar Golden Arches did not appear until 1955, when franchise owner Ray Kroc opened his first restaurant.)

In September 1940, Nazi Germany began its campaign of sustained bombing of London, now remembered as the Blitz.

In November 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Wendell Willkie in the presidential election and became the United States' first and only third-term president.

In December 1940, the Chicago Bears defeated the Washington Redskins 73-0 in the NFL Championship Game – the most lopsided victory in NFL history.

Special Award

To Bob Hope, in recognition of his unselfish services to the Motion Picture Industry.

Special Award

To Colonel Nathan Levinson for his outstanding service to the industry and the Army during the past nine years, which has made possible the present efficient mobilization of the motion picture industry facilities for the production of Army Training Films.