Question: What is the largest diamond ever found? - Y.B., Hatch, N.M.
Answer: Weighing in at a whopping 3,106.75 carats - about 1 1/3 pounds - the largest diamond ever found is the Cullinan Diamond. The diamond was found in 1905 in the Premier Mines in Pretoria, South Africa. The diamond was named after the mine's owner, Sir Thomas Cullinan. The uncut stone was given to King Edward VII for his 66th birthday.
In 1908, the rough stone was cut into more than 100 brilliant diamonds, the largest being a stone of 530.2 carats and named the Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa. That stone is now in the head of the royal scepter in the British crown jewels. The second largest polished diamond from the rough version is named Cullinan II or the Second Star of Africa and weighs 317.4 carats. This stone is also part of the British crown jewels. Both are on display at the Tower of London.
Q: Does Jamaica, N.Y., have anything to do with the island nation? - S.E.B., Shenandoah, Pa.
A: The answer that seems obvious is that Jamaica, N.Y., was where Jamaicans settled, and the neighborhood was named after the island nation. That answer is not even close, though. Jamaica is in the New York City borough of Queens, which was settled by the Dutch in 1656. At the time, the area was known as Rustdorp. When the British took over in 1664, they renamed the settlement Jameco after the Algonquin tribe, the Jameco Indians, who lived in the area.
Q: Where is Fontenoy Hall? I think it's a real place. - R.W.E., Latham, N.Y.
A: Fontenoy Hall was the intended name of the home of Pansy O'Hara. These were the original names Margaret Mitchell used in her novel "Gone With the Wind." Fontenoy Hall was later changed to Tara, while Pansy O'Hara became famous to millions of people worldwide as Scarlett O'Hara.
Q: Is Troy, as in Helen of Troy, a mythical place? Was the Trojan War a mythical event? - G.W.C., Kennebunk, Maine
A: No, Troy really did exist, in what is now Turkey. It was located near the mouth of the Dardanelles Strait. Troy was founded in 3000 B.C. and was demolished and reconstructed several times. The Trojan War is believed to have taken place around the end of the Bronze Age, around 1200 B.C. Of course, there are the naysayers who insist that both the city and war are myths.
Q: Who was Lord Haw-Haw? - B.L.W., Ithaca, N.Y.
A: The nickname was applied to several English-speaking announcers on German propaganda radio programing during World War II. The first broadcasts began on Sept. 18, 1939, and continued until April 30, 1945. These programs were meant to demoralize English-speaking troops within broadcast range.
In time, the name Lord Haw-Haw applied to one person, William Joyce, who was born in America and raised in Ireland. As a youngster, he was an informant to the British forces about the IRA rebels during the Irish War of Independence. Joyce was captured by British forces at the end of the war and was hanged for treason on Jan. 3, 1946.
Q: Who is Coach T in the Toyota TV commercials? He looks as if he would have been a college basketball coach. Do you know? - T.L., Waco, Texas
A: I, too, thought Coach T was or is a college basketball coach. Turns out he's a very convincing actor named Phil Reeves. Besides being a film and television actor, Reeves is also a successful screenwriter. He's appeared in numerous TV shows and several movies. He spent years in regional theater. He was born July 14, 1946 in New York City.
Q: I enjoyed "The Loretta Young Show." I also loved the music. What is the name of the music? Are the shows available on video? - S.C., Peoria, Ill.
A: "The Loretta Young Show," which was originally called "Letter to Loretta," aired from 1953 to 1961 and consisted of 165 performances, many of which you can buy on Amazon.com.
The theme music for Young's show was called "Loretta," and it was by Harry Lubin. Lubin also did the background music for many of her individual shows. There were not any words that I know of.
Q: Is Bonnie Bedelia a sister to another actor? - K.N., Carrollton, Ky.
A: Bonnie Bedelia Culkin was born on March 25, 1948, in New York City. She was only 9 years old when she made her professional acting debut. She is the sister of Kit Culkin, who is the father of Macaulay Culkin, Kieran Culkin and Rory Culkin.
Q: I know Brett Favre holds the record for the NFL player who played in the most consecutive games, but whose record did he break? - J.G.H., Adamstown, Pa.
A: In his 20-year career, Jim Marshall, a defensive lineman, appeared in an incredible 282 consecutive games during his career. In 1960, Marshall played his first year with the Cleveland Browns and then transferred to the Minnesota Vikings until he retired in 1979. Brett Favre played 299 consecutive games. According to the NFL, punter Jeff Feagles played 352 consecutive games from 1988 to 2009. His career 352 games is the third most in the league.
Q: I suppose it is the dream of every college football player to win the Heisman Trophy as the outstanding player of the year. I assume the trophy was named after someone named Heisman. Can you elaborate? - I.O., Elmira, N.Y.
A: John W. Heisman (1869-1936) played football at Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1892, the year after he graduated, he got into coaching, moving to several colleges, with his longest stint at Georgia Tech. Heisman helped develop the game and served as a mentor to many players until his retirement in 1927.
From his retirement until his death, he was the athletic director of the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City. In 1935, the DAC honored the most outstanding college football player for the first time. After Heisman's death in 1936, the trophy was named the Heisman Memorial Trophy.
Q: I have a great painting of Don Quixote on his beat-up horse. What is the horse's name? - S.J., Tampa, Fla.
A: Rocinante. If you ever get a picture of Quixote's sidekick, Sancho Panza, with his faithful four-legged companion, you might like to know its name is Dapple. These characters are from Miguel de Cervantes' novel "Don Quixote," released in 1605.
Q: Was Carl Reiner in the 1962 movie "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World"? - B.N.C., Hawkinsville, Ga.
A: He was, along with a long list of notable actors. Reiner played the role of a tower controller at Rancho Conejo airport.
- Send your questions to Mr. Know-It-All at AskMrKIA@gmail.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.