The Beginning

Year of the first Academy Awards ceremony: 1929
Attendance at the first ceremony: 250
Seats at the Kodak Theatre, which will host this year's ceremony: 3,400
Price of tickets at the first ceremony: $10
Number of statuettes awarded at first ceremony: 15
Number of women among the honourees: 1

The Show

Year the sealed envelope system was adopted to keep honourees confidential: 1940
Year the awards ceremony was first broadcast in colour: 1966
Yearly fee the ABC TV network pays the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for broadcast rights: $20-million
Price ABC normally charges for a 30-second TV add during the Oscars:$1.3-million
Price ABC is charging this year because of decreased spending in the troubled economy: $1-million

The Prize

Money given to MGM Art Director Cedric Gibbons to produce the first batch of statuettes: $500
Year the term "Oscar" became part of the official vernacular: 1939
(Legend has it a librarian at the Academy first dubbed the statuette "Oscar" because of its striking resemblance to her own Uncle Oscar)
Height of the statuette (in inches): 13.5
Weight of the statuette (in pounds): 8.5
Karat of the gold plating on today's statuettes: 24

The Honourees

Number of Oscars won by each of the most-honoured films Ben-Hur and Titanic: 11
Number of nominations gleaned by each of the most-honoured actors Katharine Hepburn and Meryl Streep: 12
Total pages of John Wayne's press release in pursuit of Oscar for The Alamo: 183
Longest gap between an initial Oscar nomination and a victory(achieved by Jack Palance): 40 yrs
First year a black person, Hattie McDaniel, won an Oscar: 1939
Only year a blind person, Stevie Wonder, won an Oscar: 1984
Total women nominated for the best director award: 3
Only year none of the nominees for best director were American: 1987
Age of youngest actor to receive a juvenile Oscar, Shirley Temple: 5
Age of youngest actor to receive a "regular" Oscar, Tatum O'Neil : 10
Age of the oldest actor to receive an Oscar, Jessica Tandy: 80 years, 293 days

The Oddities

Years the statuettes were made of plaster because metal was scarce: 1942-1944
Year the awards show producer sent a memo to all participants banning cleavage: 1958
Number of times the Oscars were delayed due to unforeseen circumstances: 3
Year the ceremonies were delayed because of flooding in Los Angeles: 1938
Year they were delayed because of Martin Luther King Jr.'s funeral: 1968
Year an assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan delayed the ceremonies: 1981
Year the host was interrupted by a streaker: 1974
Number of statuettes stolen days before the 2000 awards: 55
Number of statuettes recovered before the 2000 awards: 52

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