Lisa and I continue to reimagine the Oscar history, one year at a time. Today, we look at 1917. The U.S. enters World War I, the Pickfords take over Hollywood, and, for the first time, the entire membership of the Academy gets to vote.
On March 4th, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson took the oath of office and began his second term of President. Just a few months earlier, he had run for reelection on a platform of maintaining American neutrality in the war that was ravaging Europe. His slogan was “He Kept Us Out Of War,” and it was enough to allow him to survive one of the closest elections in U.S. History.
Whereas the previous year had been dominated by films, like the Award-winning Civilization, that promoted neutrality and world peace, 1917 saw the release of several films that were designed to support the American war effort. The pacifism of Civilization was forgotten as the box office embraced…
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