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The 66th Academy Awards Memorable Moments

66th Oscars

Best Picture: Schindler's List

Schindler's List also won Academy Awards for Art Direction-Set Decoration (Allan Starski and Ewa Braun), Cinematography (Janusz Kaminski), Directing (Steven Spielberg), Film Editing (Michael Kahn), Music – Original Score (John Williams), and Writing – Screenplay based on material previously produced or published (Steven Zaillian).

After winning his first Academy Award for Best Picture for Schindler’s List, Steven Spielberg said, This is the best drink of water after the longest drought in my life.

Two films directed by Spielberg won a total of 10 awards: seven for Schindler’s List and three for Jurassic Park.

All four of the year’s acting winners were first-time Academy Award winners. Tom Hanks won Best Actor for “Philadelphia,” Holly Hunter won Best Actress for “The Piano,” Tommy Lee Jones won Best Supporting Actor for “The Fugitive,” and eleven-year-old Anna Paquin won Best Supporting Actress for The Piano.

Tom Hanks gave a passionate acceptance speech in which he paid homage to a gay teacher, Rawley Farnsworth, from his high school. The situation was later used as the basis of the 1997 comedy In & Out, in which a joyful Oscar winner, during his acceptance speech in front of millions, inadvertently outs a teacher. 

Whoopi Goldberg was the host. She became the first woman and first African American to serve as the solo host of an Oscar show.

Bruce Springsteen performed “Streets of Philadelphia,” a song he composed for “Philadelphia,” which went on to win the Original Song category.

On January 31, 1993, the Dallas Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills (52-17) in Super Bowl XXVII. The Buffalo Bills became the first team to lose three consecutive Super Bowls.

On February 26, 1993, a bomb exploded in a parking garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. Although the bomb failed to critically damage the main structure of the skyscrapers, six people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured.

In March 1993, Janet Reno was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, becoming the first female Attorney General of the United States.

On April 22, 1993, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was officially dedicated in Washington, D.C. When the museum was opened to the public on April 26, the Dalai Lama was the first visitor.

On April 30, 1993, top-ranked women’s tennis player Monica Seles was stabbed by a deranged German man during a match in Hamburg. The assailant, a fan of German tennis star Steffi Graf, confessed his hope that by injuring Seles, he would enable Graf to regain her No. 1 ranking.

On July 19, 1993, President Clinton officially endorsed a compromise to effect the elimination of the 50-year ban on homosexuals serving in the military. In order to allow homosexual men and women to serve, a new policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue,” which was recommended by Defense Secretary Les Aspin, was adopted by the military.

In August 1993, in order to raise funds to repair the fire-damaged Windsor Castle, public tours of the State Apartments of Buckingham Palace were held for the first time. The tours included the throne room, the state dining room, and the picture gallery.

On August 17, 1993, the Los Angeles Police Department began a criminal investigation of pop star Michael Jackson after receiving information that he allegedly had molested a 13-year-old boy.

In October 1993, Toni Morrison became the first African-American woman to receive the Nobel Prize in literature.

On November 30, 1993, President Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act (the “Brady Bill”) into law, which required individuals seeking to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer to wait for five business days so that  a criminal background check could be conducted.

On December 27, 1993, President Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) into law.

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

To Paul Newman.

Honorary Award

To Deborah Kerr, in appreciation for a full career’s worth of elegant and beautifully crafted performances.