On December 15, 1939 the film Gone With The Wind featuring Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh premiered in Atlanta, Georgia. The story based on Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 book took place around the time of the Civil War in the American south. The film received thirteen Academy Award nominations with eight wins including best picture, best actress and best supporting actress. The best supporting actress award was given to Hattie McDaniel for her role as Mammy. She was the first African American nominated for an Academy Award and the first to receive an Academy Award. Today, Gone With The Wind is considered by many to be the greatest film ever made.
"Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, fellow members of the motion picture industry and honored guests: This is one of the happiest moments of my life, and I want to thank each one of you who had a part in selecting for one of the awards, for your kindness. It has made me feel very, very humble; and I shall always hold it as a beacon for anything that I may be able to do in the future. I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry. My heart is too full to tell you just how I feel, and may I say thank you and God bless you."
—Hattie McDaniel’s Academy Awards acceptance speech