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Happy anniversary, Oscar
By Susan King, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
HANDING out awards wasn't foremost on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' agenda when it formed in 1927. Rather, its founders -- Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Louis B. Mayer among them -- were trying to bring an end to a major strike by studio personnel over planned salary cuts. Awards and strikes. The more things change . . . well, you know. Now, the academy is gearing up for its 80th event. The first was held in 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel's Blossom Room three months after the winners had been announced. The hosts were Fairbanks and academy President William C. DeMille. Oddly, two ceremonies were held in 1930, one in spring, one in fall. Hosts over the years have included Bob Hope, Will Rogers, Jack Benny, Fred Astaire, Jerry Lewis, Johnny Carson, Chevy Chase, Billy Crystal and Jon Stewart, who returns Sunday for a second stint.