Baby name warning from 1942

Unusual baby names are discussed regularly in the media these days, but I don’t often see the topic come up in old newspapers, which is why I was surprised to find the following in a paper printed in early 1942:

News pictures recently gave publicity to a baby who was born during a practice air-raid blackout and whose mother hit on the expediency of naming her Dawn Siren. Another baby has been named Victory Pearl Harbor.

These names did not impress our anonymous reporter:

Herewith is a brief for all children whose parents give them unusual mirth-provoking or humiliating names. The offending fathers and mothers may be well meaning enough and in some cases the names have significance at the time they are given, but before long the child is hanging his head in shame under the storm of derision of his playmates, or blushing when he gives his name for the roll at school.

Dawn and Victory seem tame nowadays…makes me wonder what this person would have had to say about today’s unusual names.

Speaking of Dawn and Victory, here’s a bit more about them…

  • Dawn Siren was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Lingerman of Buffalo, New York. She was born “in Lafayette General Hospital during Buffalo’s test blackout Friday night.”
  • Victory Pearl Harbor was the son of William and Annie Moore of McComb, Mississippi. In the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), he’s listed simply as “Victor Moore.”


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