Here’s a list of interesting facts for you to take to one of your upcoming holiday parties:

n No vice president of the United States has ever been assassinated.

n “Penny” is used to specify nail size because in England, nails were once sold by the hundreds. Nails that sold for 10 pence per hundred were known as 10-penny nails. Larger nails that were sold for 20 pence per hundred were known as 20-penny nails. The nail sizes remain, but not the prices.

n Some parts of Illinois are farther south than Richmond, Virginia.

n There are parts of Wisconsin that are farther east than parts of Florida. (Check these out on the map for yourself!)

n Indonesia, a nation in the southeast of Asia, is made up of almost 13,700 islands, which stretch across 3,200 miles — about the width of the U.S. Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country, after China, India and the U.S. (Want to guess which is next? Brazil.)

n The Pilgrims drank beer, and this may have affected their landing on Plymouth Rock. An excerpt from the journal of one Mayflower passenger tells why they landed at the first sight of land: “we could not now take time for further search, our victuals being much spent, especially our beere.”

n Founded in 1897, Woolworth’s 5-and-10 cent stores’ top price was 10 cents for 53 years, until 1932.

n The United States does not have “paper money.” Bills are printed on a cotton-linen fabric.

n The Pentagon was built with twice as many bathrooms (284) as needed because it was built in segregated Virginia.

n The word “automobile” means “self-moving,” and was coined to give a name to horseless carriages.

C.P.S. (Curious Postscript): “The world is full of willing people: some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.” – Robert Frost

Curious about something? Send your questions to Dr. Jerry D. Wilson, College of Science and Mathematics, Lander University, Greenwood, SC 29649, or e-mail Selected questions will appear in the Curiosity Corner. For Curiosity Corner background, go to