Best Picture: Driving Miss Daisy
Driving Miss Daisy also won Academy Awards for Best Actress (Jessica Tandy), Makeup (Manlio Rocchetti, Lynn Barber, and Kevin Haney), and Writing – Screenplay based on material from another medium (Alfred Uhry).
All of the year’s acting winners were first-time winners: Daniel Day-Lewis for Best Actor in My Left Foot, Jessica Tandy for Best Actress in Driving Miss Daisy, Denzel Washington for Best Supporting Actor in Glory, and Brenda Fricker for Best Supporting Actress in My Left Foot.
Jessica Tandy was 80 years and 292 days old when she received her Oscar, which was her first, making her the oldest performer ever to win a competitive Oscar.
Several portions of the show originated from cities elsewhere in the world via satellites: Mel Gibson and Glenn Close participated from London, Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward from Sydney, Charlton Heston and Norma Aleandro from Buenos Aires, and Jack Lemmon hosted a segment from Moscow.
Billy Crystal was the host for the first time.
An animated Bugs Bunny was among the presenters.
In February 1989, Ron Brown was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee, becoming the first African American to lead a major United States political party.
In March 1989, Time, Inc. and Warner Communications announced plans for a merger, forming Time Warner.
On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez spilled approximately 11 million gallons of oil in Alaska’s Prince William Sound.
On June 4, 1989, hundreds of civilians were shot dead and thousands more were wounded by the Chinese army during a protest in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
In June 1989, both the Nintendo Game Boy and Atari Portable Entertainment System (Lynx) were introduced to the U.S. at the Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago.
In August 1989, Cincinnati Reds manager and ex-baseball player Pete Rose agreed to a lifetime ban from the sport following allegations of illegal gambling, thereby preventing his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
On October 17, 1989, an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale killed more than 60 people and injured another 3,700 in San Francisco. Sections of the two-tier San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the Nimitz freeway collapsed.
On November 9, 1989, the SED government announced that travel restrictions for East Germans were lifted, and that night, thousands of people from East Berlin inundated West Berlin.
On December 17, 1989, the first full episode of The Simpsons was shown on FOX.
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
To Howard W. Koch.
To Akira Kurosawa for accomplishments that have inspired, delighted, enriched and entertained audiences and influenced filmmakers throughout the world.