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History Lesson

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This is possibly one of the most remembered routines in the entire Our Gang series. Based on the Vaudeville routine of H.M. Walker, who wrote created the titles for the Silent Films, this "history lesson" occurs in the short, School's Out and possibly serves as the best example of the humor of the Little Rascals. Why a review of Colonial History jumps ahead to the Civil War with two questions from Literature and Ancient Rome, though, is unrevealed. Here's the dialogue:


Miss Crabtree: Now, children, we shall begin with an oral lesson in history. Is everyone ready? (looks over the room) Chubby Chaney, who was Nathan Hale?
Chubby: Nathan Hale was an American patriot.
Miss Crabtree: (smiling) That's right. In what manner did he give his life for his country?
Chubby: He was hung.
Miss Crabtree: (correcting his grammar) No, he was hanged.
Chubby: Oh... hanged. (grins, looks round and sits down)
Miss Crabtree: Farina, what was his last words before they hanged him?
Farina: He said, "Brother, this is certainly going to be a lesson to me!"
(Miss Crabtree reacts confused. Farina nervously sits)
Miss Crabtree: (confused) Donald Haines, where is Washington?
Donald Haines: First in war, first in peace, and third in the American League!!!
(Miss Crabtree reacts and he sits)
Miss Crabtree: Douglas Greer, what was Abraham Lincoln's mother's name?
Douglas Greer: (tiredly) Mrs. Lincoln....
Miss Crabtree: (doing a double-take) Are you children trying to be funny? (distressed) Buddy O'Donnell*, on Paul Revere's night ride, what did he say as he stopped his horse in front of the colonial homes?
Buddy O'Donnell: He said, "Whoa!!"
Miss Crabtree: (upset) Somebody is in for a real trouncing! (continuing confused) Bobby Mallon, what was Nero doing while Rome burned?
Bobby Mallon: (earnestly) I don't know, but I think he should have been hauling water to the fire!
Miss Crabtree: (suspicious) Jackie Cooper, who was the Hunchback of Notre Dame?
Jackie Cooper: Lon Chaney!
Miss Crabtree: (surprised double-take) What is this? (looks around) Mary Ann Jackson, what famous words did Washington utter as he crossed the Delaware?
(Mary Ann responds with a strange Betty Boop routine.)
Miss Crabtree: (shocked) I'm going to be punishing the next child severely who gives me a foolish answer! (looks around) Farina, what was Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address?
Farina: Sixteen Forty-Four South Main Street!
Miss Crabtree: Oh! (angrily marches over to Farina's desk) Who gave you those answers?!
Everyone: Bonedust!!!
(Miss Crabtree angrily marches over to Bonedust's seat and pulls him up to sit up straight after he's been sinking in his seat during the lesson to hide under his desk)
Miss Crabtree: Robert, where did you get those answers?!
Bonedust Young: (confused) Out of this book! (he holds up The Minstrel And Blackface Joke Book)

( * Possible flub. The actor/character is really named Buddy McDonald.)

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