George McFarland was an American actor most famous for his appearances as a child as Spanky in the Our Gang series of short-subject comedies of the 1930s and 1940s. The Our Gang shorts were syndicated to television as The Little Rascals. McFarland was born in Dallas, Texas, on October 2, 1928, to Virginia Winifred and Robert Emmett McFarland, he had three siblings: Thomas and Roderick. He attended Lancaster High School in Lancaster, TX. Before joining the Our Gang comedies, "Sonny," as he was called by his family, modeled children's clothing for a Dallas department store and was seen around the Dallas area on highway billboards and in print advertisements for Wonder Bread; this established Sonny early on in the local public's eye as an adorable child model and provided experience before cameras. In January 1931, in response to a trade magazine advertisement from Hal Roach Studios in Culver City, requesting photographs of "cute kids," Spanky's Aunt Dottie sent pictures from Sonny's portfolio. An invitation for a screen test arrived that spring.
Portions of Spanky's screen test are included in Spanky. McFarland's nickname "Spanky" is erroneously said to have arisen from warnings by his mother not to misbehave during one of the initial discussions with Hal Roach in his office; as the story goes, he had a habit of reaching out and grabbing things, on doing so his mother Virginia would say, "Spanky, mustn't touch!" While this story has considerable folksy appeal, Spanky himself contradicted the tale, saying that the name was given by a Los Angeles newspaper reporter. The term "a spanky child" was late-19th- to early-20th-century slang for an intelligent, gifted toddler. Spanky was an example of such a child in his earliest movies—a toddler who could act—so the name had meaning to the movie-going audience of that era, lost for generations. Use of the "Spanky" name by McFarland for subsequent business or personal activities was expressly granted to McFarland in one of his studio contracts. In years some family members would affectionately refer to him as "Spank."Upon being discovered at age three, he became a key member of the Our Gang children's comedy movie series and one of Hollywood's stars.
His earliest films show him as an outspoken toddler. His scene-stealing abilities brought him more attention, by 1935 he was the de facto leader of the gang paired with Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, always the enterprising "idea man." Switzer's character became as much of a scene-stealer as the young McFarland was, the two boys' fathers fought over screen time and star billing for their children. Spanky McFarland's only starring feature-film role was in the 1936 Hal Roach film General Spanky, an unsuccessful attempt to move the Our Gang series into features, he appeared as a juvenile performer in many non-Roach feature films, including the Wheeler & Woolsey comedy Kentucky Kernels and two Fritz Lang features of the 1940s. Following the 1938 Our Gang short Came the Brawn, McFarland "retired" from Our Gang, beginning a personal appearance tour. In mid-1938, Hal Roach sold the Our Gang unit to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, who began casting for a new "team leader" character in Spanky's vein and ended up rehiring McFarland himself.
He remained in the MGM Our Gang productions until his final appearance in the series Unexpected Riches in 1942, at age fourteen. In 1952, at age 24, McFarland joined the United States Air Force. Upon his return to civilian life, indelibly typecast in the public's mind as "Spanky" from Our Gang, he found himself unable to find work in show business, he took less glamorous jobs, including work at a soft drink plant, a hamburger stand, a popsicle factory. In the mid-1950s, when the Our Gang comedies were sweeping the nation on TV, McFarland hosted an afternoon children's show, The Spanky Show, on KOTV television in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the show included a studio audience and appearances by other celebrities such as James Arness, it ran Little Rascals shorts. Station executives prevented McFarland from developing and expanding the show's format, by 1960 McFarland had quit the show. After that stint, he continued at odd jobs: selling wine, operating a restaurant and night club, selling appliances and furniture.
He was selling for Philco-Ford Corporation. During this time, McFarland continued to make personal appearances and cameo roles in films and television, including an appearance on The Mike Douglas Show with Darla Hood and William "Buckwheat" Thomas; as general manager, McFarland helped launch the classic movie channel The Nostalgia Channel in 1985. During the 1990s, after his self-described "semi-retirement," Spanky lent his name and celebrity to help raise money for charities by participating in golf tournaments. Spanky had his own namesake charity golf classic for 16 years, held in Marion, Indiana, he traveled the country doing speaking engagements and lectures about his movie roles and his days on The Little Rascals. His final television performance was in 1993, playing himself in the cold open of the Cheers episode "Woody Gets An Election". In January 1994, McFarland posthumously joined fellow alumnus Jackie Cooper to become one of only two Our Gang members to receive a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
McFarland was in his bedroom in Keller, getting dressed on June 30, 1993, when he collapsed. Paramedics tried to revive him for 30 minutes before transporting him to Baylor University Medical Center in Grapevine, Texa
Helen Elsie Austin was an American attorney, member of the Baháʼí National Spiritual Assemblies in the United States and for what was the regional assembly of North West Africa, worked for years as an US Foreign Service Officer in Africa. She was among the first African-Americans admitted to the practice of law in the United States, was assistant attorney general in Ohio, served on numerous committees, executive positions, consulted, for the Baháʼís, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Council of Negro Women, was a president for the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Helen Elsie Austin's mother was Mary Louise Austin, née Dotson, herself daughter of 1872 member of the Alabama House of Representatives, Rev. Mentor Dodson, listed as a teacher in the 1870 Census. Austin's father was George J. Austin, visible in years being sensitive to issues of colorism as well as casual relationships and advocacy of women, her parents married June 10, 1906, both worked at the Tuskegee Institute - a fact Austin recalled that distinguished Mary Louse in the eyes of Booker T. and Mrs. Washington.
At Tuskegee George served as Commandant of Men, with a history as a veteran of the Spanish–American War. She was born at Tuskegee; the United States Social Security paperwork does indicate. The family was still at Tuskegee in 1910 according to the US Census, however from at least 1912 George worked at the Prairie View Normal School in Austin, again as Commandant of Men; however in the face of the break out of World War I George Austin spoke of enlistment, himself sought to enlist for officer training at Citizens' Military Training Camp in New York, where he was denied for no technical reason other than the policy of the US War Department, instead entered Fort Des Moines Provisional Army Officer Training School as a first lieutenant for training which ran June to October, 1917, listed with the draft. He was credited with serving with the 65th Machine Gun Company, which might be the UK unit of the same name. By January 1920 the family settled in Cincinnati, though George was director of a civic league supported by the black community in Port Huron, were said to have lived in West Virginia before that, after Michigan George was director of a Civic Center supported by members of the white and black community in Zanesville.
Mary Louise worked at Stowe School, named after Harriet Beecher Stowe. Austin is known to have interrupted a class in high school on an extended description of the contributions of Africans to civilization, correcting a textbook, she shared an oral history recording including the anecdote about her first day at Walnut High School: Can you imagine? Two little black girls in a school full of white children, a classroom of white chilren, with all the candor and cruelty of the young, the entire class looked at us and there were of course a few snickers and grins, it was that I remembered my grandmother. I felt. With great resentment and resolve I stood up and said'I was taught in a black school that Africans worked iron before Europeans knew anything about it. I was taught that they knew how to cast bronze in making statues and that they worked in gold and ivory so beautifully that the European nations came to their shores tho buy their carvings and statues; that is. That's. There was an electrical silence.
But friends can you imagine. Austin graduated from Walnut Hills High School, in the suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1924. Following her aunt Jennie Charlotte Austin, class of 1911, in 1928 Austin and 7 other African American women students were admitted to University of Cincinnati. There was limited attendance of blacks at the university - indeed the first known attendee was not named in university records; the first significant rise in blacks admitted to the university came in the 1920s with most of those being women and limited to the college of education though that limit was dropped though there remained no black faculty and blacks could not live in the dormitories and had limited access to the university pool. Austin recalled she and the others they were brought into an administrator's office and warned to not be conspicuous, mind being members of a subject race, to have low expectations, she reported an anecdote: We were young, full of hope and aspiration for university education. That speech traumatized us.
We discussed the situation. And all 8 of us decided that we were going out for everything in the university. We took an oath in blood that we were all to finish that first year with honors in something. By the end of the year each one of us did take an honor. At the beginning of the next year that same official who had called us in and insulted us, apologized for her remarks. Despite this Austin did join an inter-racial club on campus, as well as the young chapter of Delta Sigma Theta though none of the black sororities or fraternities had their picture in school yearbooks until later. Austin received a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1930 from the University of Cincinnati, becoming the first black wo
St Catharine's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Founded in 1473 as Katharine Hall, it adopted its current name in 1860; the college is nicknamed "Catz". The college is located in the historic city-centre of Cambridge, lies just south of King's College and across the street from Corpus Christi College; the college is notable for its open court. St Catharine's is unique in being the only Oxbridge college founded by the serving head of another college; the college community is moderately sized, consisting of 70 fellows, 150 graduate students, 410 undergraduates. Robert Woodlark, Provost of King’s College, had begun preparations for the founding of a new college as early as 1459 when he bought tenements on which the new college could be built; the preparation cost him a great deal of his private fortune, he was forced to scale down the foundation to only three fellows. He stipulated that they must study philosophy only; the college was established as "Lady Katharine Hall" in 1473.
The college received its royal charter of incorporation in 1475 from King Edward IV. Woodlark may have chosen the name in homage to the mother of King Henry VI, called Catharine, although it is more that it was named as part of the Renaissance cult of St Catharine, a patron saint of learning. At any rate, the college was ready for habitation and formally founded on St Catharine’s day 1473. There are six Saints Catharine; the initial foundation was not well-provided for. Woodlark was principally interested in the welfare of fellows and the college had no undergraduates at all for many years. By 1550, there was an increasing number of junior students and the focus of the college changed to that of teaching undergraduates. In 1861, the master, Henry Philpott became Bishop of Worcester, in the ensuing election Charles Kirkby Robinson and Francis Jameson stood. Jameson voted for Robinson, however Robinson voted for himself, Robinson won; the episode brought the college into some disrepute for a while.
As the college entered the 17th century, it was still one of the smallest colleges in Cambridge. However, a series of prudent Masters and generous benefactors were to change the fortunes of the college and expand its size. Rapid growth in the fellowship and undergraduate population made it necessary to expand the college, short-lived additions were made in 1622. By 1630 the college began to demolish its existing buildings which were decaying, started work on a new court. In 1637 the college came into possession of the George Inn on Trumpington Street. Behind this Inn was a stables, famous for the practice of its manager, Thomas Hobson, not to allow a hirer to take any horse other than the one longest in the stable, leading to the expression “Hobson's choice”, meaning "take it or leave it"; the period of 1675 to 1757 saw the redevelopment of the college's site into a large three-sided court, one of only four at Oxbridge colleges. Proposals for a range of buildings to complete the fourth side of the court have been made on many occasions.
The college adopted its current name. In 1880, a movement to merge the college with King’s College began; the two colleges were adjacent and it seemed a solution to King’s need for more rooms and St Catharine’s need for a more substantial financial basis. However, the Master was opposed and St Catharine’s refused. In 1966 a major rebuilding project took place under the Mastership of Professor E. E. Rich; this saw the creation of a new larger hall, new kitchens and an accommodation block shared between St Catharine's and King's College. Pressure on accommodation continued to grow, in 1981 further accommodation was built at St. Chad's on Grange Road, with further rooms added there in 1998. In 2013 the College completed the building of a new lecture theatre, college bar and JCR. In 1979, the membership of the college was broadened to welcome female students, in 2006 the first woman was appointed as Master of the college, Dame Jean Thomas. A history of the college was written by W. H. S. Jones in 1936.
In 2015, St Catharine's became the first college in Cambridge to implement a gender-neutral dress code for formal hall. St Catharine's provides a unique academic environment, focused on research and arts, educating students with a diverse range of talents. In addition to its academic standards, the college encourages students to pursue theatre and music, with many former students going on to become professional actors and musicians. St Catharine's has placed in the top third of the Tompkins Table, though its position tends to vary year on year. In 2014, its position slipped to 21st, but rose to 13th in 2015 with more than 25% of students gaining First-class honours, it has further risen to 10th in 2018 with more than 30% gaining a First; the first time the college had been placed at the top of the Tompkins Table was in 2005. Between 1997 and 2010, the college averaged 9th of 29 colleges; the college maintains a friendly rivalry with Queens’ College after the construction of the main court of St Catharine's College on Cambridge’s former High Street relegated one side of Queens' College into a back alley.
A more modern rivalry with Robinson College resulted from the construction in the 1970s of a modern block of flats named St Chad’s (in which the rooms are octagonal t