The name Enterprise has a long-standing history as a ship name, starting sometime prior to the 18th century and lasting way beyond the 24th century.

The legacy of past ship's named Enterprise were honored in numerous places, including:

In 2372, Captain Jean-Luc Picard had Lieutenant Commander Data prepare a lengthy holodeck program detailing the history of the Enterprise in order to hold-up several new arrivals to the ship and keep them in one place, when details came to light that one of them could be a Changeling infiltrator. (TNG eBook: A Sea of Troubles)

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