Trivia Time! After a day full of unwrapping gifts, why not unwind with a few pieces of trivia everyone should know?

• It took seven U.S. presidents before one was born an American citizen. That was Martin Van Buren.

• Lake Superior is larger than any other freshwater lake.

• Mickey Mouse’s original name was Mortimer. Walt Disney changed it shortly after his creation.

• The longest river in the world is the Nile, which is a little more than 4,000 miles long.

• In 1932, the original Three Musketeers candy bar had three pieces of candy in it: one chocolate, one vanilla and one strawberry. (Do you remember that?)

• The name “Uncle Sam” originated in 1812 when a meat packer named Sam Wilson (no relation to the author of this column) provided meat to the Army. Someone saw the meat shipments were stamped with “U.S.” and joked that the initials stood for “Uncle Sam.” The name stuck.

• During his college years, Ronald Reagan performed lifeguard duties at Lowell Park in Illinois, where he is credited for saving 77 people from drowning.

• Fifty-six people signed the Declaration of Independence.

• There are seven red and six white stripes in the American flag (for the 13 original colonies).

• The graham cracker was named after a Presbyterian minister, The Reverend Sylvester Graham, from Kansas. He was an advocate of eating whole-wheat flour products.

• It takes 10 pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese, 21 pounds of milk to make a pound of butter and 12 pounds of milk to make a gallon of ice cream.

• Every year, your heart beats about 35 million times. That is about 100,000 beats per day and 70 beats per minute. Over the course of a lifetime, this adds up to an average of 2.5 billion heartbeats. (And the beat goes on!)

• Turmeric is used to make mustard yellow.

• The name QANTAS, which is a major airline for Australia, is an acronym for Queensland and Northern Territory Air Service.

C.P.S. (Curious Postscript): “I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him ‘father.’” — Will Rogers

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