ASK MR. KNOW-IT-ALL: This super title isn't a supertitle
June 02, 2013 2:50 AM

QUESTION: I attended my first opera recently.

The lyrics were translated into English above the stage. Since it was above the stage, I don’t think it would be called a subtitle. What is it called? — H.M.C., Tampa, Fla.

ANSWER: It would be called a “supertitle” or “surtitle.”

QUESTION: What’s the name of the “Peanuts” theme song? — L.M.H., Columbia, Tenn.

ANSWER: Though many consider it the “Peanuts Theme,” the song is really titled “Linus and Lucy.” Jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi composed the tune in 1964.

QUESTION: Was the candy Mary Jane named after someone? — I.F.W., Portland, Maine

ANSWER: In 1884, Charles N. Miller started a small business in Boston’s Faneuil Hall area, manufacturing and selling homemade candy in a home once owned by Paul Revere. In 1914, he named the peanut butter and molasses candy after his favorite aunt, Mary Jane.

QUESTION: Do you know who posed for the famous Heisman Trophy? — W.F.M., Manchester, Vt.

ANSWER: In 1935, Ed Smith (1913-1998), a former New York University running back, modeled for the trophy’s sculptor, a high school friend.

Smith played for the Boston Redskins and the Green Bay Packers, but was forced to retire due to a ligament injury. In 1985, Smith received his own Heisman Trophy.

The Heisman Trophy is given to the collegiate football player who is deemed the most outstanding each year, and was first awarded in December 1935.

The award is named after John Heisman, who was involved in many college athletics, including football, basketball and baseball.

QUESTION: After I retired, I got out my old stamp collection and decided to see if I could regain my passion for the hobby — I did!

In a freebie publication, there was an ad for a mint set of Prexies.

I think it was in relation to stamps, but I’ve never heard of them. I should have called the seller, but I didn’t. Do you know what Prexies are? — L.W., Mentor, Ohio

ANSWER: “Prexy” is slang for president, especially of a college or university.

What you passed up were Presidential Issue stamps, a series of definitive postage stamps issued in 1938. The collection features the 29 past U.S. presidents up to that point, from George Washington through Calvin Coolidge. The stamps ranged in value from 1 cent to $5. There were three fractional-cent denominations, with depictions of Benjamin Franklin, Martha Washington and the White House. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a serious stamp collector, suggested the series.

QUESTION: Are actresses Vivien Leigh and Janet Leigh related? — O.N.B., Reading, Pa.

ANSWER: No. Two-time Oscar winner Vivien Leigh was born Vivien Mary Hartley on Nov. 5, 1913, in Darjeeling, India. She was the only child of Ernest Hartley, an English officer in the Indian Cavalry, and his wife, Gertrude Hartley. She took her professional last name from her second husband, Herbert Leigh Holman. She died July 8, 1967, at age 53.

Oscar nominee Janet Leigh was born Jeanette Helen Morrison on July 6, 1927. She was the only child of Helen Lita and Frederick Robert Morrison.

She died at age 77 on Oct. 3, 2004, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

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

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