National Jesse Day is celebrated every year on June 18. It is a day to celebrate all the people who were or are called Jesse. The name Jesse is a popular unisex name and means “God’s gift,” “God exists,” or ‘king’ in Hebrew. It’s been a popular choice for children since the 1880s and has been translated into many European languages. This name bears no relation to the name Jessica, another popular choice. Although in some rare instances, it’s used as a nickname and spelled as Jessie. Many notable figures bear this name, including Jesse Eisenberg, actor; Reverend Jesse Jackson, clergyman and activist; Jesse Owens, athlete; and Jesse James, the famed outlaw. Let’s celebrate this name today!
History of national jesse day
Jesse, or Isai, was first mentioned in the “Hebrew Bible” in the ‘Old Testament.’ Jesse was known as King David’s father and a sheep farmer in the epicenter of Bethlehem. It was the 203rd most popular boy’s name and the 2558th most popular girl’s name in 2016. In 2021, one in every 989 baby boys and every 26,560 baby girls was named Jesse.
The notorious outlaw, Jesse James is considered one of the most notorious figures in American history. Alongside Butch Cassidy and Cole Younger, James is the poster boy for the Wild Wild West, a symbol from the age of high-stakes train robberies, exciting shootouts, and faded ‘wanted’ posters. Raised in Little Dixie in Western Missouri, James served in the Confederate army as a guerilla fighter in his teens, where he honed his taste for violence and bloodshed. As a soldier, he was accused of carrying out several war crimes and atrocities against Union soldiers and civilians alike. After the war, he turned to crime, where his skills as a warfighter proved invaluable. Together with the Younger brothers, he formed the James-Younger gang, robbing banks and trains and living off the spoils of crime. He met his fate at the business end of a gun in 1882 and has had his life story depicted in various ways through plays, movies, and T.V. shows.
Another famous personality to bear this name is actor Jesse Eisenberg. In his critically acclaimed portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network” (2010), he brought the relatively obscure C.E.O. of Facebook to life. He also starred in “Zombieland” (2009) and the sequel “Zombieland: Double Tap” (2019), showcasing his range as an actor who could take on dramatic and comedic roles with ease. Though a gifted actor, his performance as Lex Luthor in “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016) remains his biggest career embarrassment. His role was panned by audiences and critics alike, earning him the much-loathed Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor.
national jesse day timeline
Jesse James dies from a gunshot wound to his head.
Jesse James unsuccessfully runs for the President of the United States.
Jesse Ventura becomes the Governor of Minnesota.
Musician Jesse McCartney wins the Teen’s Choice award for ‘Best Male Artist.’
national jesse day FAQs
What does Jesse mean?
Jesse means “God’s gift” or ‘king’ in Hebrew.
Is Jesse a girly name?
Jesse is a unisex name.
What is Jesse short for?
Jesse is a given name but may also be short for Jessica in girls.
national jesse day Activities
Watch a movie
It feels almost criminal to celebrate this day without watching everyone’s favorite bumbling Jesse. You can also check out the spin-off “El Camino.”
Buy themed wall art
Tap into your creative side by getting some Jesse-themed wall art. It could be metal lettering, graffiti-style paint, or a colorful poster.
Read about Jesse James
James was the ultimate American outlaw from a forgotten time. Read about his mind-blowing exploits as a robber and gangster.
5 Facts About Jesses
The son of a preacher
Ironically, the notorious outlaw, Jesse James, was the son of Robert James, a Baptist minister.
A bonafide fraternity member
Jesse Ownes was a college member of the reputed black fraternity, Alpha Pi Alpha.
The fantastic offer
Before becoming a man of the cloth, Jesse Jackson got an offer to play for the Chicago White Sox, the famous American team.
Jesse loves the flute
Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays Mitchell in “Modern Family,” also played the flute in a 2007 stage play of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Jesse didn’t know about Facebook
Before shooting “The Social Network” (2010), Jesse Eisenberg had reportedly never even seen a Facebook page.
Why We Love national jesse day
It is gender-neutral
Jesse is one of those names that works both ways. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female or identify as anything else. It’s so versatile that it still fits.
It is back on the rise
After fading into obscurity for a while, the name is making a strong resurgence. Jesse is becoming a popular name among parents. Perhaps it's the Hollywood influence!
It is balanced
We don’t know how, but Jesse manages to balance the casual and formal tones. It sounds like a nickname and a given name all at once.
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