How popular is the baby name Eisenhower 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 Eisenhower.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Eisenhower


Posts that Mention the Name Eisenhower

What gave the baby name Adlai a boost in the 1950s?

Politician Adlai E. Stevenson II (1900-1965)
Adlai E. Stevenson II

According to the U.S. baby name data, the name Adlai saw peak usage in 1952, then a smaller spike four years later:

  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: 6 baby boys named Adlai
  • 1956: 22 baby boys named Adlai
  • 1955: 12 baby boys named Adlai
  • 1954: 7 baby boys named Adlai
  • 1953: 18 baby boys named Adlai
  • 1952: 39 baby boys named Adlai [peak]
    • 6 born in Illinois
  • 1951: unlisted
  • 1950: unlisted

Why?

Because of politician Adlai Ewing Stevenson II — the namesake of politician Adlai Ewing Stevenson I, his grandfather.

Adlai Stevenson II served as the governor of Illinois from 1949 to 1953. He was elected “by a larger majority than any other candidate had received in the history of the state.”

On a national level, though, he’s better remembered for being the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the presidency in both 1952 and 1956.

In spite of his refusal to seek the presidential nomination in 1952, he was drafted by the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. He waged a vigorous campaign, but the popular appeal of wartime hero Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower proved irresistible. Stevenson was defeated a second time four years later, again by Eisenhower.

One of the other candidates for the Democratic nomination in both ’52 and ’56 was W. Averell Harriman.

Sources: SSA, Adlai Stevenson II – Wikipedia, Adlai E. Stevenson | American Statesman | Britannica

Interesting one-hit wonder names in the U.S. baby name data

tulips

They came, they went, and they never came back!

These baby names are one-hit wonders in the U.S. baby name data. That is, they’ve only popped up once, ever, in the entire dataset of U.S. baby names (which accounts for all names given to at least 5 U.S. babies per year since 1880).

There are thousands of one-hit wonders in the dataset, but the names below have interesting stories behind their single appearance, so these are the one-hits I’m writing specific posts about. Just click on a name to read more.

1890s

1900s

  • (none yet)

1910s

1920s

1930s

1940s

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

2010s

2020s

  • (none yet)

As I discover (and write about) more one-hit wonders in the data, I’ll add the names/links to this page. In the meanwhile, do you have any favorite one-hit wonder baby names?

P.S. You might also be interested in this list of the top one-hit wonder baby names since 1880

Unusual Baby Name: Isambard

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born in 1806 in the south of England. The name “Isambard” came from his father, Marc Isambard Brunel (originally from France), and the name “Kingdom” came from his mother, Sophia Kingdom.

Years later, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s unusual name would become almost synonymous with engineering: he was perhaps the most eminent Victorian engineer.

He built the Great Western Railway, the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamer (SS Great Western), and various important bridges and tunnels.

The name Isambard can be traced back to a old Germanic name Isambert, which is made up of elements meaning “iron” and “bright.” Other spellings include Isembart, Isembert, Isambart, and Isembard.

Do you like the name Isambard? Do you like it more or less than Eisenhower (which is also iron-related)?

Sources:

Gamal & Nasser: Suez Crisis Baby Names?

Dwight Eisenhower and Gamal Nasser, 1960
Dwight Eisenhower and Gamal Nasser, 1960

Egyptian politician Gamal Abdel Nasser became one of the primary leaders of Egypt following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952.* He was elected president of the country on June 23, 1956.

A little more than a month after the election, on July 26, Nasser nationalized the 120-mile Suez Canal. Up to that point, the canal had been controlled jointly by Britain and France. Nasser did this in response to the U.S. and Britain withdrawing their offers to help finance the construction of the Aswan Dam, which was part of Nasser’s plan to improve Egypt’s economy and thereby modernize the country.

In late October and early November, forces from Israel, France, and Great Britain invaded Egypt. But the aggression was opposed by much of the rest of the world, including both the U.S. and the Soviet Union, and the three invading countries were pressured to withdraw from Egypt over the following weeks and months.

So, Gamal Nasser emerged victorious from the Suez Crisis. (It was now “clear that the old colonial powers, Great Britain and France, had been supplanted as the world’s preeminent geopolitical forces by the United States and Soviet Union.”) And in 1957, both Gamal and Nasser saw enough usage as baby names to appear for the first time in the U.S. baby name data:

YearUsage of GamalUsage of Nasser
195913 baby boys6 baby boys
19588 baby boys7 baby boys
19579 baby boys [debut]7 baby boys [debut]
1956..
1955..

Many of these early Gamals and Nassers were born in New York and Illinois — likely New York City and Chicago specifically — and could therefore be babies born into Egyptian-American families.

Sources: SSA, BBC – History – British History in depth: The Suez Crisis, What was the Suez Crisis? – Ask History

*The revolution overthrew King Farouk, whose first wife was Farida.

Why did Nikita debut as a boy name in 1959?

Soviet politician Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971) in 1961.
Nikita Khrushchev

Nikita Khrushchev was the leader of the Soviet Union for over a decade (1953 to 1964) during the early Cold War.

Between the time the U.S.S.R. launched Sputnik in 1957 and sent Yuri Gagarin on the first manned space flight in 1961, Khrushchev became first Soviet head of state to visit the United States.

Upon the invitation of president Dwight D. Eisenhower, Khrushchev and his family (wife Nina, son Sergei, daughters Julia and Rada, and son-in-law Alexei) flew to Washington, D.C., on September 15, 1959. They visited New York, California, Iowa, and Pennsylvania before flying back to Moscow on the 27th.

Though Khrushchev famously never made it to Disneyland, he did manage to make an impression upon expectant parents:

Baby girls named NikitaBaby boys named Nikita
19613921
19605625
19594419 [debut]
195816.
195713.

The name Nikita had appeared in the U.S. baby name data as a girl name before, but in 1959 it showed up for the very first time as a boy name.*

These days the usage of Nikita is about equal for males and females — 93 baby girls and 92 baby boys got the name in 2015. But there was a spike in female usage in 1985, thanks to the song “Nikita” by Elton John. (American radio listeners similarly interpreted Luka as a girl name a couple of years later.)

The name Nikita can be traced back to the ancient Greek word for “victor,” niketes, which is based on the more familiar word nike, meaning “victory.”

And eight years after the name Nikita debuted, another Russian arrival, Svetlana Stalina, showed up and added yet another Soviet-inspired baby name to the mix…

Sources: Nikita Khrushchev – Wikipedia, Timeline: Nikita Khrushchev’s Trip Itinerary
Image: John F. Kennedy & Nikita Khrushchev in 1961

*To debut on the SSA’s baby name list, a name has to be given to least 5 babies of one gender or the other within a single calendar year.