The turbulence of the 1960s is reflective on the Social Security Administration’s list of most popular baby names, as many of the parental favorites that once topped this list fell during this decade, giving way to new top name selections. While some may imagine that this make-love-not-war generation’s name list would consist of an assortment of earthy and hippie-friendly names including Rainbow or Sunshine, none of these outside-of-the-norm monikers were popular enough to top the lists. In fact, many of the names popular in this decade remain near the top today because they have a classic appeal.
In the 1950s, Michael rose to the number one spot on the Social Security Administration’s baby name list. This name knocked the popular favorite James from the top of the list, a name more appropriately reflective of the upset characteristic of this decade.
The feminine and frilly name Lisa sat at number one for more popular baby girl names during the decade, reports the Social Security Administration. While this name may seem wholly unconnected to religion, it actually has a religious meaning, as it comes from the Hebrew meaning, “God is my Vow”
David was the second most popular baby boy name during this decade. Its number-two spot represents a significant rise in popularity, as the name held the number-five spot on the Social Security list the decade before.
The biblical name Mary was the second-most popular girls’ name during this decade. This name, which had topped the list for decades before, fell slightly during this decade but does not appear as affected by the changes that occurred during this decade as some of the other common name list toppers.
James, which held the top spot for many decades before, fell to number four during the 1960s. This popular Biblical name is originally from the Hebrew and means “supplanter.”
The name Karen was the fourth-most popular name choice for baby girls during the 1960s, reports the Social Security Administration. This name is from the Greek and means “pure,” making it an apt choice for parents who valued nature and simplicity during this decade.
Kimberly was the fifth-most popular baby girl name during the 1960s. This name is not as deeply rooted in history as many of the other name toppers and is proportioned to be of an American origin, coming from an Indian term meaning “clearing in the forest.”