Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins became the first directors who shared the Best Director Oscar for a film (West Side Story).
Lawrence of Arabia, this year's winner of the Best Picture Oscar, is the only film ever to win the award without containing a single female speaking role. Despite going for over four hours, no women appear in the film at all.
Although Terminus was announced as one of the nominees in the category Documentary (Feature), the nomination was later withdrawn after it was known that the film was released before the eligibility period.
Sidney Poitier became the first African-American to win the Best Actor award in the history of the Oscars. It was for the film Lilies of the Field.
This is the first time an actor was nominated for an acting Oscar for a film in which he multiple characters. It was Peter Sellers for "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb".
This is the first year where all four of the acting awards were won by non-American actors.
This is the second year that two sisters were nominated alongside each other in the Best Actress category (Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave). The only other time this occured was between Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine.
Katharine Hepburn (The Lion in Winter) and Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl) tied for Best Actress, making them only the second pair to tie for an acting award. The first one was in 1932 when Wallace Beery (The Champ) and Fredric March (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) tied for the Best Actor award.
During the ceremony, John Wayne thrust his Best Actor Oscar for True Grit (1969) to Richard Burton and told him, "You should have this, not me."
Midnight Cowboy became the first X-rated film to win the Best Picture award.
This is the first time in the history of the Academy where three of the Best Actor and Best Actress nominees were black performers.
When presenting the Best Actor Oscar award; Bond actor Roger Moore ended up taking home the Oscar accidentally. The winner of the award, Marlon Brando, refused the award, and Sacheen Littlefeather, who Brando sent to make a speech to refuse the Oscar, also publicly refused to take the statuette from Moore.
Liza Minnelli became the first Oscar winner (Cabaret) whose parents are both Oscar winners themselves. Vincente Minnelli won for directing Gigi in 1959 and Judy Garland won a special award in 1940 for playing a screen juvenile in The Wizard of Oz.
As host David Niven was about to present Elizabeth Taylor, a naked man burst from behind the stage curtain and darted across the stage to the horror of those in the auditorium and those watching on television. The man was apprehended by security but rather than being arrested he was brought before the press. His name was Robert Opel, a San Francisco art gallery owner who had gotten backstage via a bogus press pass.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest became the second film to sweep all five top awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay). The first was It Happened One Night in 1934.
Lina Wertmuller became the first woman director to be nominated for an Oscar. It was for directing Seven Beauties.
As Woody Allen did not win the Best Actor award, Annie Hall failed to sweep the top five awards. It won for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress.
Debbie Boone gave an emotionally charged performance of her hit song "You Light Up My Life" accompanied by a group of children who did the lyrics in sign language and it was assumed that the children were deaf. Later it was discovered, they were actually not deaf, they were brought in from a local school, and they were actually signing jibberish.
John Wayne was having surgery the previous year and could not attend the ceremony. This year, despite his ongoing struggle with cancer, he made an appearance at the request of friend Bob Hope. It would be his last public appearance, he passed away weeks later.
Gandhi, the film that took home eight Oscars this year, is the most Oscar-successful British film to date.