Born on the Fourth of July

Yes, July 4th is the birthday of America, but it’s also an occasion to salute some of the notable people who share that date—and of course featuring those with the more interesting names. It makes for quite a diverse little birthday party—from Nathaniel Hawthorne, born in 1804, to First Daughter Malia Obama, born in 1998. But we won’t be including three who erroneously claimed the date as their own—composer George M. ‘born on the Fourth of July’ Cohan, MGM’s Louis B. Mayer and Louis Armstrong, whose real date of birth was August 4th.


The Scarlet Letter author Hawthorne inherited his first name from his father, but his surname at birth was spelled Hathorne. In the New Testament, Nathaniel was the apostle who was also called Bartholomew. Stalwarts Nathaniel and Nathan are both firmly in the Top 100, with Nathan leading at Number 29.

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