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The Names of March: Kennedy, Knute and Casimir

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By Denise Potter

The third month of the year holds more than the promise of spring. The thirty-one days of March encompass a little bit of everything—from the birthdates of famous artists, sportsman, war heroes, inventors, musicians, and writers, to the observance of women’s history innovators, and of course, the luck of old Saint Patrick himself. Before you get to finally set your clocks forward for that extra hour of sunlight thanks to Daylight Saving Time, check out these 11 baby names inspired by marvelous March.

Beryl – One of the birthstones for March is the aquamarine, the blue or turquoise variety of a mineral called beryl. The crystal is naturally small and colorless, though often tinted bluish-green by impurities. The dated British favorite Beryl is scarcely used in the US—a distant runner-up to the green gem of choice, Jade

Casimir– Revolutionary War hero Casimir Pulaski, who fought for freedom alongside General George Washington in 1777, was born in Poland in March of 1747. Called “the father of American cavalry,” Pulaski was one of only seven people to be awarded honorary United States citizenship. Also the traditional name of Polish kings, the strong and exotic Casimir means “announcing peace.”

David—The legendary Renaissance artist who sculpted works such as David and the Pietà was born Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni in Caprese, Italy in March of 1475. The statue of David depicts the second king of Israel, the highly cultivated leader who enjoyed music and poetry. #19 for boys in 2012, the Hebrew name David means “beloved”.

Graham—Inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell was born in Scotland in March of 1847. Climbing almost 200 places in a decade, this smooth and sophisticated boy’s name has also been popular in Scotland and England since the fifties.

Harriet– The third month of the year is also Women’s History Month, with International Women’s Day falling on March 8th, on which the U.S. observes the stories of those who struggled for equality. Suffragists Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, and Alice Paul to name a few.

Johann– The German variation of John draws up images of Johann Sebastain Bach, the great composer and musician of the Baroque period, who was born on March 3, 1685. Though still very Old-European, Johann has recently risen in popularity after Seal and Heidi Klum chose it (with one ‘n’) for their son.

Kennedy—On March 1st 1961, the Peace Corps was established by President John F. Kennedy. For over fifty years, the program has accumulated over 210,000 American volunteers to aid in social and economic development across continents. The Irish surname now has appeal for girls; its trendy yet classic charm helped it climb into the Top 100 in 2012.

Knute– Regarded as one of the best coaches in the history of college football, Knute Kenneth Rockne, player and mentor for the University of Notre Dame team, was born in Voss, Norway in March of 1888. The powerful Norse choice was also the name of the patron saint of Denmark.

Patrick (the patron saint & Patrick Henry) – A Top 25 name in Ireland and the namesake for international St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, Patrick was a patron saint and “Apostle of Ireland” in the fifth century. March 23rd is the anniversary of another prominent Patrick’s speech; Patrick Henry ignited the Revolutionary War at the 1775 Virginia Convention with the memorable words, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

Saxon— In Anglo Saxon or Old English, the historic namesake for March was Lentmonat, named after the equinox and observance of Lent. As a boy’s name, Saxon is German and means “people of the dagger.”

Tennessee — American playwright of Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie was born Thomas Lanier Williams III on March 26, 1911. His creative pen name inspired a new possibility for a U.S. place name. Now unisex, Tennessee was recently chosen by Reese Witherspoon for her son.

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