President Franklin D. Roosevelt opened the 13th Academy Awards ceremony, addressing the nation and the crowd at the Biltmore Hotel in a six-minute direct-radio-line speech from the White House. Roosevelt was the first
president to participate in the Academy Awards. He declined a special invitation to Los Angeles because of the world's political climate but made the most of his time as the opening act,
chatting about the Lend-Lease Act and thanking Hollywood for raising money for defense and promoting the "American way of life" in its movies.