Mars Hill and Quoddy Head

james k white

You may ask, “With no interference from fog or clouds, where is the point that daily receives the first sunlight on American soil?” The answer is not as simple as one might think. I was taught decades ago that the correct response was Cadillac Mountain in Maine, but that is true only during parts of each year. On some days mountains in New Brunswick temporarily block the path of the sunlight and the shifting of the sunrise orientation along the horizon constantly changes with the season. The results are that two other sites in Maine: Mars Hill and Quoddy Head (I am not making this up) sometimes receive our first rays of solar energy.

Slightly more than 85 percent of all military personnel earn honorable discharges upon leaving the services.

Beware when buying name-brand shoes, especially online. Data from last year indicates that authorities seized more than 27,000 pairs of counterfeit footwear and that this number is estimated to be no more than 5 percent of the spurious shoe merchandise unloaded on American consumers.

According to world records, the largest great white shark ever caught and reliably measured was one taken near Ledge Point (Western Australia) in 1987. The female was measured to be 19.7 feet in length. Tales and reports of larger great whites abound, but verifiable evidence has thus far always been lacking.

The largest wooden sailing ship ever constructed was the Great Republic, rated at 4,555 tons and measuring 400 feet in length. Launched in 1853, the ship sank in 1872 shortly after being renamed Denmark. The longest sailing ship of any construction was made of steel and wood with a total length of 475 feet. Tonnage was claimed to be 5,218. The vessel was launched in 1902 and christened Thomas W. Lawson. The craft sank during a storm near the Isles of Scilly in 1907.

In 1922, Otto Schnering founded a candy company. After considering naming the business Schnering Candy Company, he settled on using his mother’s maiden name (Curtiss) because the name sounded “more pleasant.” Then in 1923, Otto offered to the world his peanut butter bar covered in chocolate and … Butterfinger was born. Although the candy was always considered tasty, its popularity soared after Schnering conceived one of the all-time successful publicity stunts when he hired airplane pilots to drop samples from the air on several cities across the U.S. The confection got another boost when it was displayed in a 1934 Shirley Temple movie Baby Take a Bow. Well, should you go there – please tell the folks at Quoddy Head that I said “hi.”

James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at