This past Monday was National Middle Name Pride Day. But middle names weren't always popular in the United States. Prior to the American Revolution, it was rare to give a child a middle name. And even after the late 1700s, mostly aristocratic and wealthy families used them. In fact, out of our first 17 American presidents, only three had middle names (John Quincy Adams, William Henry Harrison, and James Knox Polk).
But by the late 1800s, as the population expanded, the middle name finally became more common. And by 1900, nearly every U.S.-born child born had one. In fact, during WWI, the enlistment application became the first official government form to have a spot to list a middle name. People even began to favor them over their first names. Think of (Thomas) Woodrow Wilson. Or how about (John) Calvin Coolidge or (Anna) Eleanor Roosevelt? How about Laura Jean Reese Witherspoon, Elizabeth Stamatina "Tina" Fey, Walter Bruce Willis, and William Bradley Pitt?
So to celebrate Middle Name Pride Day, take a look at these celebrities with interesting middle names. And be inspired: share your middle name with pride to someone who doesn't know it! Read the full story in Parade.