How did Charles Lindbergh influence baby names in 1927?

Exactly 85 years ago today, 25-year-old Air Mail pilot Charles Lindbergh was in the middle of his non-stop, solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

His successful journey from New York City to Paris, which lasted from about 8 am on May 20 until about 10:30 pm on May 21, 1927, earned Lindbergh the $25,000 Orteig Prize and made him world-famous virtually overnight.

According to SSA data, hundreds of baby boys were named Lindbergh that year:

  • 1930: 31 baby boys named Lindbergh
  • 1929: 40 baby boys named Lindbergh
  • 1928: 71 baby boys named Lindbergh (rank: 771st)
  • 1927: 116 baby boys named Lindbergh (rank: 574th) [peak usage]
  • 1926: 12 baby boys named Lindbergh
  • 1925: 7 baby boys named Lindbergh [debut]
  • 1924: unlisted

Though the data makes it look like dozens of babies were named “Lindbergh” prior to May of 1927, that’s probably not the case. It’s much more likely that these babies simply remained nameless until the event occurred. (At that time it wasn’t uncommon for American parents to wait months, sometimes years, to settle on a name. Emancipation Proclamation Coggeshall wasn’t named until she was two and a half, for instance.)

Hundreds more got the diminutive form Lindy:

  • 1930: 64 baby boys named Lindy (rank: 813th)
  • 1929: 84 baby boys named Lindy (rank: 669th)
  • 1928: 177 baby boys named Lindy (rank: 454th)
  • 1927: 235 baby boys named Lindy (rank: 388th) [peak usage]
  • 1926: 29 baby boys named Lindy
  • 1925: 10 baby boys named Lindy
  • 1924: 6 baby boys named Lindy

I spotted a boy named Lindbergh Long in a mid-1932 issue of North Carolina Christian Advocate. His age wasn’t mentioned, but he was probably born circa 1927.

Photo of child named Lindbergh Long in the religious newspaper "North Carolina Christian Advocate" (1932).

The variant spellings Lindberg, Lindburgh and Lindburg also got a boost in 1927. The latter two debuted in the data that year, in fact.

And, of course, many babies were given the first-middle combo “Charles Lindbergh.” The following Charles Lindbergh babies made the news:

  • Charles Lindbergh, son of Mr. and Mrs. Horace E. Lindbergh of Cambridge, MA
  • Charles Lindbergh Bohannon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bohannon of La Jolla, San Diego, CA
  • Charles Lindbergh Erickson, son of Mrs. and Mrs. Carl W. Erickson of Worcester, MA
  • Charles Lindbergh Hurley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Hurley of Sea Cliff, Long Island, NY

A few years later, in 1931, a Canadian baby who made headlines for being born in an airplane was also named after Lindbergh.

Sources:

  • “3 Babies Are Given Name of Air Ace.” Painesville Telegraph 23 May 1927: 1.
  • “New Born Baby Gets Lindbergh’s Name.” Border Cities Star [Windsor, Ontario, Canada] 23 May 1927: 14.
  • “San Diego Baby Is Named for Aviator.” Prescott Evening Courier 8 Jun. 1927: 1.

Images: Lindbergh Received the Distinguished Flying Cross, North Carolina Christian Advocate

P.S. Some other aviators I’ve written about: Jack Vilas, Belvin Maynard, Lester Maitland, Bessica Raiche, Turi Widerøe.

2 thoughts on “How did Charles Lindbergh influence baby names in 1927?

  1. Bonus question: why is the San Diego airport named Lindbergh Field for him? Rather than, say, St. Louis’ airport or one near his home in New Jersey.

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