And the Oscar for best Hollywood courtroom drama goes to . . . the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The golden statuette was awarded Monday by a Los Angeles Superior Court jury, which ruled that if Mary Pickford’s heirs want to sell it, they have to offer it to academy officials for $10 instead of auctioning it off for as much as $800,000. Academy leaders took a Rancho Mirage woman, her daughter and a cousin to court after the women announced plans to sell the Oscar presented in 1930 to the silent-movie star known as “America’s sweetheart” and donate the proceeds to charity.
The explosion of maritime exploration, which Catholic Spain and Portugal led, to be joined later by Protestant England and the Netherlands, created the shift from land-based power to sea-based power. . . .
The social revolution attendant on such a major shift of power arrangements brought into play a new mercantile class whose entrepreneurial spirit sent them looking for wealth and profit in hitherto unknown or unexplored lands. As one such adventurer expressed it, they crossed the seas “to serve God and His majesty, to give light to those who were in darkness,” but most emphatically “to grow rich, as all men desire to do.” Or, as Columbus expressed it, “Gold, what an excellent product! It is from gold that riches come. He who has gold can do whatever he pleases in this world. With gold one can even bring souls into Paradise.”