6 historic moments in Oscars history to relive before Hollywood's big night

That Halle Berry win, right?!

 Kathryn Bigelow, Oscars
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Oscars are a big night for everyone—movie buffs, fashionistas, and the celebrity-obsessed. There are surely going to be noteworthy moments after this year's Academy Awards, but there are several points in the show's history that truly stand out and with good reason. 

As much as we enjoy the glitz and glam of Hollywood, the truth is that the industry hasn't always supported diversity and equality. From Halle Berry's 2002 acceptance speech to Kathryn Bigelow's monumental 2010 win, these historic Oscars moments will make you feel empowered (much like these awesome speeches). See who paved the way for change and shattered glass ceilings. 

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Hattie McDaniel in 1940

Hattie McDaniel

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Although forced to sit separately from her white costars, Hattie took home the best actress award for Gone With The Wind—the first black actor to win an Oscar. 

Tatum O'Neal in 1974

Tatum oneill

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Age is just a number, really. When you're good—you're good! Tatum O'Neal nabbed the coveted best supporting actress award for her role in Paper Moon at just 10 years old. What a way to ring in double digits, huh?

Marisa Tomei in 1993

Marisa tomei

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Sometimes the underdog comes out victorious; just take Marisa Tomei's Oscar win, for example. The actress wasn't predicted to snag the best supporting actress title for the comedy My Cousin Vinny, but that's exactly what she did. She was a worthy contender from the get-go, despite what some critics have said. 

Halle Berry in 2002

Oscars, Halle Berry

(Image credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images)

Halle Berry took home the title for Best Actress in 2002 for Monster Ball. She acknowledged how her success story would help pave the way for other women of color in years to come. 

"It’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened," she said. 

 Kathryn Bigelow in 2010

Kathryn Bigelow, Oscars

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Arguably one of the event's most startling statistics, only one woman has ever won for best director, and that's Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker. 

Emma Stone in 2018

Emma Stone

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While reading the nominees for the best director category, Emma certainly remembered the category's sole female winner, Kathryn Bigelow. During her announcement, she said, "These four men and Greta Gerwig created their own masterpieces this year."

Before the big event, here's how you can watch all of the nominated films. Be sure to enjoy a glass of bubbly while you do! 

Danielle Valente
Danielle Valente

Danielle is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. When she's not working, you can find her experimenting with new recipes or sitting on the couch with a good book and a cup of coffee.