What gave the baby name Valentina a boost in 1963?

Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova
Valentina Tereshkova

According to the U.S. baby name data, the name Valentina saw an uptick in usage in 1963:

  • 1965: 87 baby girls named Valentina
  • 1964: 86 baby girls named Valentina
  • 1963: 95 baby girls named Valentina
  • 1962: 63 baby girls named Valentina
  • 1961: 62 baby girls named Valentina

That was the year 26-year-old Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to travel into space.

In 1963, from June 16 to 19, Tereshkova spent more than 70 hours in space. She orbited the Earth 48 times in her Vostok 6 capsule before returning.

Her successful flight made headlines worldwide. U.S. newspapers described Valentina Tereshkova as “a tomboyish blonde with a winning smile,” and dubbed her a “cosmonette.”

The Vostok program (1960-1963) was the USSR’s answer to the Mercury program (1958-1963) in that both programs were created to put humans in space. Russia’s first cosmonaut was Yuri Gagarin; America’s first astronaut was Alan Shepard.

The U.S. didn’t send a woman into space until June of 1983, when Sally Ride flew aboard the space shuttle Challenger. (This event may have given a slight boost to the baby name Sally, though it’s hard to tell.)

What are your thoughts on the baby name Valentina?


One thought on “What gave the baby name Valentina a boost in 1963?

  1. I think Valentina is a very pretty name. I love Valentine, too, as a gender-neutral name.

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