The shortest day game in major league baseball was played between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies; the game lasted just 51 minutes. (Paul Sancya Associated Press)

Question: You recently said the shortest night game ever played in major league baseball was one hour, 15 minutes between the Cincinnati Reds and Boston Braves, which was played on Aug. 10, 1944. What is the shortest day game? What is the longest nine-inning game? - T.L., Mesa, Ariz.

Answer: According the Baseball Almanac, the shortest game was played between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies on Sept. 28, 1919; the game lasted just 51 minutes. The Giants won, 6-1.

The longest nine-inning game was played on Aug. 18, 2006, between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. The game, played in Boston, lasted four hours, 45 minutes.

Q: Actor Pierce Brosnan's first wife died in the 1990s. What was the cause of her death? - K.L., Jerseyville, Ill.

A: Australian-born actress Cassandra Harris and Pierce Brosnan were married in 1980. She died of ovarian cancer on Dec. 28, 1991, at age 43.

Q: Reading newspaper accounts of the abduction of Charles Lindbergh's baby, an H. Norman Schwarzkopf was head of the New Jersey State Police investigating the case. I know this is not the same Schwarzkopf of Desert Storm. Is there a connection? - I.L.D., Washington, Ind.

A: They are father and son. The senior Schwarzkopf was an army officer in World War I and World War II. At age 26, he was appointed the first head of the New Jersey State Police, which handled the 1932 case of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping.

Q: What is the most expensive item ever sold on eBay? - J.K., Peoria, Ind.

A: According to eBay, it was a Gulfstream II business jet that sold for $4.9 million in August 2001. A business plane vendor sold it to a charter-flight company based in Africa. An eBay representative told me that both sides were pleased with the deal, and I suppose they both left positive feedback for each other.

Q: I recently saw that "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry's middle initial is W. What does it stand for? - R.L., Elk City, Okla.

A: His full name is Eugene Wesley Roddenberry. "Star Trek: The Next Generation" character Wesley Crusher, played by Wil Wheaton, was named after Roddenberry.

Q: I have no idea where I heard the following: "The pair of gloves was returned and he remained traumatized for several days." Can you explain this to me? - H.G., Galveston, Texas

A: At one time, it was the custom of several northern countries of Europe for the suitor to present a pair of gloves to his intended bride. If the gloves were returned, it meant the proposal of marriage was rejected. The custom is said to have its origin in the Middle Ages.

Q: What are "nummits" and "crummits"? I'm reading a book set in the countryside of England, and the words are used with no explanation. - I.L., Tallahassee, Fla.

A: "Nummits and crummits" refer snacks eaten by farm laborers while in the field. Depending on how it is used, it could also mean "bits and pieces."

Q: When did the first British monarch visit the United States? - H.C., Freeport, Texas

A: Although the first permanent English settlement in this country was in 1607 in Jamestown, Va., it took more than 330 years for a British monarch to come and visit. In June 1939, King George VI, father of current Queen Elizabeth II, made a goodwill trip to Canada and the United States. George visited the World's Fair in New York City and spent time with President Franklin Roosevelt. It sounds like a fun trip, but Europe was getting ready for war and England wanted to make certain the United States would remain an ally.

Q: I would like to purchase some uncut sheets of currency to give as a gift. Where can I order them? - R.C., Sanford, Maine

A: A sheet of 32 $1 bills will cost $61 (smaller sheets are available). Also available are sheets of $2, $5, $10, $20 and $50 bills. You can place your order by phone by calling the U.S. Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing at 1-800-456-3408, or you can order online at their website,

Q: What are the first and middle name of author C.S. Lewis? - I.C.V., Belfast, Maine

A: The author's full name is Clive Staples Lewis.

Q: I wanted to read more about Charles Mason, the man who graduated ahead of Robert E. Lee at West Point. One article I read said he became a Copperhead, but gave no explanation as to what that was. Can you help me out? - S.C., Dover, Del.

A: I'll be happy to. Quickly, let me tell you about Charles Mason (1804-1882). You are right - he graduated first in his class at West Point in 1829, ahead of Robert E. Lee. What is interesting, though, is that he did not serve in the military during the Civil War.

In 1860, the Democratic Party was in disarray; some party members supported war, others opposed the idea. Democrats in the north were more flexible than Republicans on the issue of southern secession, and wanted an immediate resolution with Confederates. These Democrats called themselves Peace Democrats, and Republicans called them Copperheads, likening them to the poisonous snake. Peace Democrats began to proudly wear copper pennies as badges to identify themselves.

Q: How long have rubber bands been around? - G.H., Evanston, Ill.

A: On March 17, 1845, Stephen Perry of London received a patent for the rubber band.

Q: Is it true that Humphrey Bogart's picture was featured on packages of Gerber baby food? - O.D., Pittsfield, Maine

A: No, it is not true. Bogart's mother, Maud Humphrey Bogart, was a commercial illustrator who used a drawing of her baby son in an ad campaign for Mellin's baby food. Gerber did not begin marketing baby food until 1928; by this time, Humphrey DeForest Bogart (1899-1957) was pushing 30 and couldn't be the model.

Q: Hey, Mr. Know-It-All! I have a riddle for you. A bucket of water weighs 20 pounds. What do you add to make it weigh 12 pounds? - A.B., Redding, Calif.

A: Holes.

Q: Who was the first person to attempt to assassinate a United States president? - L.P.O., Columbus, Ohio

A: His name was Richard Lawrence. On Jan. 30, 1835, as President Andrew Jackson was leaving a funeral service in Washington, D.C., Lawrence fired two pistols at Jackson from 6 feet away, but both pistols misfired. Instead of taking cover, the aging Jackson beat Lawrence with his cane until the attacker was subdued.

Q: Which comedian went by the name "The Cherokee Kid"? - A.B., Middletown, N.Y.

A: Will Rogers. He was born William Penn Adair Rogers on Nov. 4, 1879, in Cooweescoowee District, Cherokee Nation, near Oologah, Okla. Rogers took basic roping skills to an art form, using those skills in his vaudeville act. In 1902 and 1903, he traveled South Africa with Texas Jack's Wild West Show, in which he played the Cherokee Kid.

Rogers appeared in more than 70 films and was popular as a radio commentator. He also wrote syndicated newspaper columns as well as six books. The "Indian Cowboy," as he was also known, was proud of his Cherokee heritage. He died in a plane crash on Aug. 15, 1935, at age 55.

Q: Is Crystal Gayle the singer's real name? Where was she born? - C.W., Carthage, Miss.

A: Brenda Gail Webb was born in Paintsville, Ky., on Jan. 9, 1951. You might have heard of her older sister, country legend Loretta Webb, although she is better known as Loretta Lynn.

- Send your questions to Mr. Know-It-All at or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.