How popular is the baby name Hamilton in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Hamilton.
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The baby name Charlayne saw peak usage in 1961 — after a decade of being used so infrequently that it didn’t even register in the U.S. baby name data.
1963: 29 baby girls named Charlayne
1962: 15 baby girls named Charlayne
1961: 66 baby girls named Charlayne
What happened in 1961 to give this name such a boost?
On January 9, 1961, two African American college students — 18-year-old Charlayne Hunter and 19-year-old Hamilton Holmes — arrived at the campus of the all-white University of Georgia to enroll, as per a federal court order to desegregate. In her memoir, Charlayne wrote:
Sure enough, we were greeted by a raucous crowd made up of some of the 20,000 white students at UGA. They limited their violence to words, calling out things like, “There go the niggers.”
Rioting broke out on January 11. “A student mob threw bricks at Charlayne’s dormitory and yelled vulgarities up at her window.” State police arrived to restrain the rioters. Charlayne and Hamilton were driven off campus, and — “for their own safety” — the university suspended them.
Finally, January 16, they returned to campus “in a cold drizzling rain from their homes in Atlanta under another federal order forbidding the university from again suspending or expelling them if disorders erupt.”
Ultimately, they became the first African-Americans “to successfully desegregate an all-white college anywhere in the South.”
Charlayne and Hamilton graduated in June of 1963. (Both had completed the first half of their sophomore year at other schools before enrolling at UGA.)
Charlayne went on to become an award-winning journalist. (Notably, while at the New York Times, she “convinc[ed] the editors to drop their use of the word Negroes when referring to African Americans.”)
What are your thoughts on the name Charlayne?
“First Negroes win Georgia U. Diplomas.” Life 14 Jun. 1963: 36.
Hunter-Gault, Charlayne. To the Mountaintop: My Journey Through the Civil Rights Movement. New York: Roaring Book Press, 2012.
Mullen, Perry. “Two Negroes Enter School Without Trouble.” Ottawa Herald [Ottawa, Kansas] 16 Jan. 1961: 1.
“Prank, Riot and Shock on Georgia Campus.” Life 20 Jan 1961: 24-25.
At least two mountains have been named “Mount Disappointment.” One of these mountains is in California, the other is in Victoria, Australia.
The Australian Mount Disappointment was named in 1824 by explorers Hamilton Hume and William Hovell. Its name reflected “their disappointment that the dense tree growth prevented them from viewing Port Phillip Bay from the summit.”
The American Mount Disappointment was named in 1894 by USGS surveyors. The mountain “appeared to be the highest point in the immediate area…so they planned to use its peak at their next triangulation point. Upon reaching the summit, they were “disappointed” to find San Gabriel Peak, 1/2 mile further east, to be 167′ higher.”
When I searched for human beings with the name “Disappointment,” I was likewise disappointed to find only one: Charles Disappointment Croft, born in early 1871 in Norfolk, England.
As usual, the disclaimer: Some of the names below were already on the rise. Others may have been influenced by more than just the single pop culture person/event listed. I leave it up to you to judge the degree/nature of pop culture influence in each case.
I was surprised that Adonis and Wade jumped in usage as much as they did.
I was also surprised that Wrigley barely jumped at all in usage. Maybe “Wrigley” reminds too many people of gum?
Where the heck is Usain? Why is Usain not in the data yet? Sure, track and field is relatively unpopular in the United States. Still, I thought Rio might do it — with the help of that viral photo of Usain Bolt cheekily grinning at the competition in the middle of that 100 meter sprint.
Finally, as a former ’80s kid, I did have my fingers crossed for Voltron. Oh well…
How about you? Did any of these rises/falls surprise you?
It’s December 2 — the doubly momentous day on which Britney Spears celebrates her birthday and on which we start another round of the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game.
Which baby names will see significant movement on the charts in 2016 thanks to popular culture (TV, movies, music, sports, politics, products, current events, video games, etc.)? Below are some possibilities. Leave a comment with the names you’d add — and don’t forget to mention the pop culture influence.