America finally joined the Second World War in December 1941; the rest of the world had already been fighting for a couple of years. Bette Davis was the Academy President for the 1941 Oscars held on February 26, 1942. Carole Lombard had died on January 16, 1942 while returning from a War Bond drive. Normally the Oscars were held at a large banquet setting. Bette suggested a more subdued event. Have the awards at a theatre and sell tickets to the public to raise money for the Red Cross. The Academy Governors vetoed Bette’s idea. Instead formal wear was banned and the awards went on as a dinner. March 2nd 1944 would be the first year for the 1943 Oscars to be held at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
Best Songs chosen during the war years tended to be sentimental, songs of remembrance, songs of love and hope. 1941’s Best Song was The Last Time I Saw Paris from the movie Lady Be Good (MGM) music by Jerome Kern Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. 1942’s Best Song was White Christmas from the movie Holiday Inn (Paramount) music and lyrics by Irving Berlin.
1943’s Best Song was You’ll Never Know from the movie Hello Frisco Hello (20th Century Fox), music by Harry Warren, Lyrics by Mack Gordon. 1944’s Best Song was Swinging On A Star from the movie Going My Way (Paramount) music by James Van Heusen, lyrics by Johnny Burke.
For the year 1944 Seven year old Margaret O’Brien received the Special Award Miniature Statuette for outstanding Child Actress.