National Laura Day is observed on December 23. In Latin and English-speaking countries, the name Laura is given to females. With over 850,000 people in the U.S. going by the name Laura, it comes in at number 61 of the Top 100 most popular names. In the late 19th century, it was a popular name choice for girls, ranking at number 17 in 1880. By the 1930s and 1940s, Laura had dropped to 100. In 1969, the name reached its highest point in tenth place before gradually starting to decline. In the 1980s, the name saw a comeback in popularity owing to stars like Laura Dern.
History of National Laura Day
Laura is the feminized version of ‘Laurus,’ Latin for ‘bay laurel plant,’ a symbol of victory, honor, and fame in Greco-Roman societies. Laura represented strength and victory. The first prominent person with the name was Saint Laura of Cordoba. Laura was a nun who rose to the rank of an abbess. She was a Martyr of Cordoba, who was killed in 864 A.D. The Saint Laura Stadium in Chile honors her memory and there is a day set aside for her commemoration.
American singer-songwriter Laura Ann Branigan, best known for her songs “Gloria” and “Self Control,” started her musical career as a backup singer for Leonard Cohen. She attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, working as a waitress to support herself. Her 1982 smash hit “Gloria” was a cover of Umberto Tozzi’s work. Branagan’s version was certified platinum and spent 36 weeks on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts. Her 1984 song “Self Control” topped the charts in Canada and Germany, and reached number four on American charts. Today, Branigan’s iconic “Gloria” is associated with the NHL team, the St. Louis Blues, who played the song in 2019 when they won the Stanley Cup.
Actress and producer Laura Dern, who played Dr. Ellie Sattler in “Jurassic Park,” is the recipient of several film awards. Dern, born in 1967 to actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd, was thrown into the spotlight at a young age. She held the title of Miss Golden Globe at the age of 15 and made her acting debut as an extra in the film “White Lightning,” which starred her mother. Dern will reprise her role as Dr. Sattler in “Jurassic World Dominion” in 2022.
National Laura Day timeline
Laura Ingalls publishes her first book, “Little House in the Big Woods,” which chronicles her childhood in the American Midwest.
Laura Branigan releases her album “Gloria.”
Diane Ladd and Laura Dern are the first mother and daughter to receive an Academy Award nomination for the same movie.
Meryl is played by Laura Linney in "The Truman Show," for which she won Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
National Laura Day FAQs
What is Laura short for?
Laura is short for the Latin name ‘Laurentia.’
How rare is the name Laura?
Laura is one of the rarest names, with less than 1% of parents choosing it for their child in 2021.
Is Laura a 1990s name?
Laura was the 45th most popular name in the 1990s.
National Laura Day Activities
Get a laurel wreath
In Rome, laurels represented victory or the pursuit of success in music, poetry, and sports. Purchase a laurel wreath, and proudly wear it around your neck or head on this National Laura Day.
Listen to Laura Branigan
Laura Branigan has a beautiful voice and writes catchy songs. So go on, put on her songs, and dance away.
Light a candle
Light a candle for Saint Laura on National Laura Day. Spare a few moments of silence in her memory.
5 Lovely Facts About Laura
The Laura who wrote an amazing book
The author of "Little House on the Prairie," Laura Ingalls Wilder, started writing when she was forty years old.
The Laura with theater in her blood
Romulus Linney, a playwright, was the father of actress Laura Linney.
The Laura who featured in a musical
In the musical "Love, Janis," Janis Joplin was portrayed by Laura Branigan.
The Laura who impressed a legend
Martin Scorsese declared that Laura Dern would become a successful actor in the future after seeing her perform as an extra in "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore."
The Laura who co-authored a hit song
“How Am I Supposed To Live Without You?” was co-written by Laura Branigan and Michael Bolton.
Why We Love National Laura Day
It’s a name that does not grow old
We prefer to look at the name Laura as a vintage. Like 'fine wine,' it gets better with age.
It is musical to the ears
Perhaps it's the vowels or the way it rolls off your tongue. All we know is that Laura sounds lovely.
It means victory
Everyone wants to be connected to a positive name. Laura is a representation of prosperity and triumph in all endeavors.
National Laura Day dates