On March 8, 1911, George and Lida Duncan of Corydon, Kentucky, welcomed triplets — one boy, two girls. They asked several public figures of the day to name the babies:
- William Howard Taft, who was serving as U.S. president at the time, “congratulated the parents and wished “a long, prosperous and happy life” for the children, but declined to name them.”
- Theodore Roosevelt, who was president before Taft, “tendered “hearty congratulations” to both parents, particularly to Mrs. Duncan,” but declined as well.
- Philanthropists Helen Gould and Olivia Sage “also declined to name the children, but sent expressions of appreciation to the parents.”
So George and Lida took it upon themselves to select names for the babies. They settled on Ralph, Ruth and Ruby.
If they had asked you, though, what names would you have suggested for the triplets?
Source: “All Decline to Name Children.” Spokesman-Review 27 Apr. 1911: 12.