If it’s in the zeitgeist, it’s in the names. Every cultural shift, every hot trend, every new societal understanding leaves lasting footprints in the form of baby names.
When it comes to the tumultuous times of the late 1960s, those footprints may look faint from a distance. Top-10 girls’ names of the year of Woodstock included Lisa, Kimberly, Amy and Tammy – not exactly the sound of revolution. But if you dig deeper, you find reflections of the unique spirit and events of the era.
I searched through historical data for names that registered in the stats for the first time ever in 1969. The signs of the times are clear, from the silly to the profound. Here’s a name-based snapshot of what was on parents’ minds in 1968-69.
Barbarella, Che Guevara. Images: Wikimedia Commons
Aldrin (M): 1969 moon-walking astronaut Buzz Aldrin
Che (F): Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara (Che debuted in the boys’ column a year earlier)
Tuesdee (F): Jockey Tuesday Testa, who became the first woman to win a race at a major U.S. racetrack in 1969
Barbarella (F): Cartoonishly sexy 1968 science fiction film Barbarella
Cassidy (F): Acclaimed 1969 western film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Chastity (F): The birth name of a child born to singers Sonny & Cher in 1969
Tige (M): TV’s Mod Squad star Tige Andrews
Trevino (M): Upstart 1968 U.S. Open Golf champion Lee Trevino
Spirituality and the Age of Aquarius
Dharma (F): Term with varied important meanings in Buddhism and Hinduism
Shalom (F): Hebrew word for peace
Uranus (F): In astrology, the ruling planet of Aquarius
Zen (M): A school of Buddhism emphasizing meditation
Africa (F): The whole continent
Biafra (F): Secessionist state which fought for independence from Nigeria, 1967-70
Ghana (F): The West African nation
Nubia (F): Historical Nile region, home to early African kingdoms
Taganyika (F): East African territory that was a sovereign state in the early 1960s, now part of Tanzania