Hattie McDaniel Wows the Audience of the 13th Annual Academy Awards

On February 29, 1940, Hattie McDaniel—the Postal Service’s 2006 Black Heritage subject—made history by becoming the first African American to receive an Oscar. In fact, she was the first African American ever to be nominated for an Academy Award. McDaniel was honored for her performance as Mammy in the 1939 film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s popular novel, Gone With the Wind, and her acceptance speech is a lesson in eloquence, grace, and humility.