The Baby Names Douglas, MacArthur & McArthur

Douglas MacArthur

Douglas MacArthur was the popular U.S. Army General who received the Medal of Honor in 1942 for his service in the (first) Philippines Campaign.

How many babies were named in honor of Douglas MacArthur in 1942?

Quite a few. The number of babies named Douglas nearly tripled that year:

  • 1944: 6,996 baby boys named Douglas [rank: 34th]
  • 1943: 8,231 baby boys named Douglas [rank: 28th]
  • 1942: 11,234 baby boys named Douglas [rank: 23rd]
  • 1941: 4,149 baby boys named Douglas [rank: 53rd]
  • 1940: 3,729 baby boys named Douglas [rank: 56th]

And the number of babies named MacArthur (or some variant thereof) also swelled:

Name194019411942 [rank]1943 [rank]1944 [rank]
Mcarthur914289 [357th]173 [471st]134 [528th]
Macarthur5141 [518th]60 [864th]38

Variant “McArther” was the top debut name for baby boys in 1942.

And isn’t it strange how “McArthur” became more popular than “MacArthur”? Perhaps newspapers of the day had trouble spelling the surname correctly.

Speaking of newspapers, several of them made note of the sudden trendiness of “Douglas MacArthur” as a baby name. A Boston Globe headline from March 25, 1942, said: “Douglas MacArthur Wong Among 15 Babies Named for Hero Here.” A similar New York Times headline from April 9 stated: “MacArthur Wins Another Reward of Fame: 7, Maybe 13, Babies Here Are Named for Him.”

Finally, a few MacArthur-related asides:

  • Did you know that a string of men in Douglas MacArthur’s family had the double name Arthur MacArthur?
  • MacArthur was the one in charge of clearing the Bonus Expeditionary Force out of Washington, DC, back in 1932.
  • Another U.S. military man whose name became a trendy after a battle in the Philippines was George Dewey.

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