Best Picture: On The Waterfront
On The Waterfront also won Academy Awards for Best Actor (Marlon Brando), Best Supporting Actress (Eva Marie Saint), Black-and-White Art Direction-Set Decoration, (Richard Day), Black-and-White Cinematography (Boris Kaufman), Directing (Elia Kazan), Film Editing (Gene Milford), and Writing – Story and Screenplay (Budd Schulberg).
In March 1954, Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly produced a See It Now documentary called A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy.
On May 17, 1954, the United States Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional in the case Brown v. Board of Education.
On May 25, 1954, legendary war photographer Robert Capa died in Indochina after stepping on a land mine.
In July 1954, the Geneva Convention guaranteed independence to Vietnam and divided it in two, with the North going to Ho Chi Minh's Communist forces and the South to pro-French forces.
On August 16, 1954, the first issue of Sports Illustrated was published.
In September 1954, William Golding's first novel, Lord of the Flies, was published in the U.K.
In November 1954, Gojira, the first film to feature Godzilla, premiered in Tokyo, Japan.
On November 10, 1954, Vice President Richard Nixon dedicated the United States Marine Corps War Memorial, also known as the Iwo Jima War Memorial, at Arlington National Cemetery.
In December 1954, the first Burger King opened in Miami, Florida.
Japan's Gate of Hell received an Honorary Award as the year's best foreign language film.
Judy Garland, nominated for Best Actress in A Star Is Born, was in the hospital with her one-day-old son on the day of the show; NBC-TV had television equipment set up outside her hospital room window just in case she won, but the award went to Grace Kelly.
On January 14, 1954, Marilyn Monroe married former New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio.
Honorary Foreign Language Film Award
To Japan for Gate of Hell
To Kemp R. Niver for the development of the Renovare Process which has made possible the restoration of the Library of Congress Paper Film Collection.
To Greta Garbo for her unforgettable screen performances.
To Danny Kaye for his unique talents, his service to the Academy, the motion picture industry, and the American people.
To Jon Whiteley for his outstanding juvenile performance in The Little Kidnappers.
To Vincent Winter for his outstanding juvenile performance in The Little Kidnappers.