On today, July 4, The United States of America celebrates Independence Day. It is a wondrous day when citizens nationwide celebrate the anniversary of this great land. With The Academy Award being one of the most prestigious awards in American (and world) film, how do they celebrate - especially since the average ceremony takes place between February and March? Well, in 1976, The Academy ended their 48th Academy Awards ceremony with a tribute to cap the bicentennial. Click the link to watch the video in which Elizabeth Taylor and a marching band leads the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in singing America's National Anthem.
The ceremony was held on March 29, 1976. The major winner of the evening was One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which itself was an Oscar record holder for winning all acting categories, Best Director and Best Picture on top of various other fields. It is a film that spoke of rebellion against the system. It was a passionate plea for change. Along with next year's winner Rocky, it felt like the Oscars were adjusting their views on American patriotism accordingly.
However, when the entire ceremony was over and the final awards had been handed out, Elizabeth Taylor came out in a Red Halston dress. After giving a speech about the Oscars and American culture, she decided to lead everyone in attendance in singing the National Anthem. While it wouldn't be the only American tribute in the Oscars' history (many came following September 11, 2001), it was one of the few times where The Academy recognized their home country in such a blatant way.
The video features the speech as well as the recitation.
So on this Independence Day, just remember the great things in life. Remember what this country means to you and the values of freedom. It has given us a lot of opportunities, both in film and in our daily lives. So while this may not be the most stellar rendition of America's National Anthem, it does reflect a recognition, a camaraderie of sorts, that acknowledged the growing nation.