The first Academy Awards took place during a simple banquet held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in May 1929.
Douglas Fairbanks was the Academy president and, after all the speeches had ended, he handed out the Oscars to the winners. Because the winners had already been announced some three months earlier, everyone knew the outcome.
During that first ceremony, fifteen Oscar statuettes were awarded for “cinematic achievements” of 1927 and 1928. Emil Jannings was the first ever Best Actor winner. Because he had to return to Europe before the ceremony was held, his Oscar was the very first ever awarded.
After this first awards ceremony, public interest virtually exploded, to the point that a radio station in L.A. broadcast the event. Ever since, the awards ceremony has been broadcast, on either the radio or television.
During the second awards ceremony, the number of categories was reduced to seven from 12. However, by the seventh ceremony, three new categories were added.
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