Director Frank Capra hosted the 1941 Academy Awards. Some time after introducing a six-minute radio address by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, he invited the nominated directors to join him onstage and shake hands with one another. After George Cukor, Alfred Hitchcock, Sam Wood, and William Wyler had done so, Capra opened the envelope and was dismayed to discover that the winner was John Ford, the only nominee who had declined to attend. "Awards are a trivial thing to be concerned with at times like these," he later remarked.
So what was Ford doing on Oscar night? Selling war bonds? Collecting scrap metal? Sewing uniforms? Not quite. He was on a fishing trip.