The first awards presentation for distinguished achievements in the film industry granted by Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association - the precursor of today's Hollywood Foreign Press Association - took place in early 1944 with an informal ceremony at 20th Century Fox. There, Jennifer Jones was awarded Best Actress honors for The Song of Bernadette, which also won for Best Film, while Paul Lukas took home Best Actor laurels for Watch on the Rhine. Awards were presented in the form of scrolls.
The following year, the members of the association held a contest to find a design for a statuette that would best represent the overall aims of the organization. Marina Cisternas, president of the group in 1945-46, presented the idea for a shiny globe on a cylindrical pedestal, to represent the world.
In conjunction with the Golden Globes presentation, the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association held its first gala social event in 1945 with a formal banquet at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Going My Way won for Best Picture, while Ingrid Bergman and Alexander Knox were named Best Actress and Best Actor for their performances in The Bells of St. Mary and President Wilson, respectively.
There have been other important landmarks in the history of the Golden Globes. In 1951 the association decided to divide the best film, actor and actress nominees into two categories -- drama, and musical or comedy -- so that no genre would be slighted. In 1952, the HFPA created the Cecil B. DeMille Award to recognize “outstanding contribution to the entertainment field.” The award’s first recipient was DeMille himself.
Other unique awards that have been discontinued over the years were the World Film Favorite, from 1951 to 1980 and the Newcomer Award, which had several different names during its lifespan from 1948 to 1983. Timothy Hutton, Bette Midler, and Diana Ross were among the distinguished Newcomers, and Steve McQueen, Doris Day and Barbra Streisand were some of the World Film Favorites.
In 1956 the Golden Globes included some unique categories: the Trailblazer Award to Walt Disney.