10 Google Doodles You've Missed

By Kelly Sheridan at InformationWeek.com

Google doodles mark major holidays like Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day, but they also celebrate the Eiffel Tower and the start of asparagus season.

Google Doodle1

You know it’s a special occasion when you’re greeted with a Google doodle before your first Web search of the day.

The search giant likes to dress up its logo in celebration of holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays of pioneers, artists, and scientists. Doodles take the form of games, animation, and symbolic artwork.

The first Google doodle appeared in 1998 as an away message from Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were attending the Burning Man festival out in Nevada. The cofounders placed a stick figure behind Google’s second “o” to indicate they were “out of office.”

And thus, the first of many doodles was born. From then on, Google’s logo was adorned with a turkey on Thanksgiving, a couple of pumpkins on Halloween, and other festive holiday symbols for notable celebrations.

[From Stanford to Alphabet: 10 Google milestones.]

In 2000, the founding duo asked webmaster Dennis Hwang, an intern at the time, to create a doodle for France’s Bastille Day. After a tremendous user response, Hwang was named the chief doodler at Google — arguably the greatest job in the world — and became responsible for creating more quirky logos.

Google doodles soon began to acknowledge the birthdays of Monet, Picasso, Michelangelo, Albert Einstein, and countless other historical figures. From there, they evolved to include celebrations within the US and around the globe.

The doodle team has grown beyond Hwang to include a talented mix of graphic designers, illustrators, animators, classically trained artists, and engineers. Have a doodle idea? You can email it to the team:[email protected].

Since Larry and Sergey’s fateful Burning Man away message, Google has posted 2,000 doodles — and counting. Let’s take a look back at some of the more interesting and obscure holidays it has celebrated over the years.

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Eiffel Tower Anniversary

On March 31, 2015, Google celebrated the anniversary of the Eiffel Tower’s public opening. The tower’s construction was finalized on the same day in 1889, 126 years earlier.

Google Doodle3

Start Of Asparagus Season

Asparagus rises to greet the world every spring with an official season starting April 15. Google decided the occasion was worth marking with a doodle. Don’t feel left out if you missed this one; the asparagus doodle was limited to Germany.

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Anniversary Of The Traffic Light

Traffic accidents and congestion were big problems in 1914, when police officers directed traffic by waving their arms in the middle of busy highways packed with automobiles, horse-drawn wagons, and carts. Even mechanically operated signs, which displayed “stop” and “move” commands, required human operation.

A solution arrived on Aug. 5, 1914: the first electric traffic signal, located in Cleveland, at the corner of 105th and Euclid. Google marked the light’s birthday with this doodle 101 years later.

Google Doodle5

Jonas Salk’s 100th Birthday

Dr. Jonas Salk created the first effective polio vaccine in 1952. Thanks to his discovery and Albert Sabin’s oral vaccination, polio is no longer the tremendous threat it once was.

The inspiration behind the doodle came from the happiness sparked by the completion of the vaccine, said doodler Mike Dutton. Store owners closed their shops, factories held a moment of silence, and children and adults celebrated. Dutton wanted to capture the same feeling in the doodle he created for Dr. Salk’s 100th birthday on Oct. 28, 2014.

Google Doodle6

World Cup 2014

Google went crazy for last year’s World Cup tournament with more than 60 images to acknowledge the event. This is the fifteenth and one of my favorites, inspired by the streets of Rio.

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Anniversary Of Canada’s Coldest Temperature

On Feb. 3, 1947, the temperature in the tiny Canadian town of Snag hit a record-setting -63 degrees Celsius. This marks the coldest temperature ever recorded in Canada and the entire continent of North America. At that temperature degrees, your breath can stay suspended in midair for several minutes when you exhale, and skin can freeze in less than three minutes if exposed.

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Grace Hopper’s 107th Birthday

The Google doodle for Dec. 9, 2013 celebrated the 107th birthday of Grace Hopper, a computer programming pioneer. Hopper is credited with inventing software technologies that inspired today’s computing languages, and with persuading enterprises and government organizations to agree on COBOL as a programming language for business.

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John Venn’s 180th Birthday

Google celebrated the 180th birthday of logician and philosopher John Venn on Aug. 4, 2014. You’re probably familiar with the Venn diagram he was responsible for bringing into the world. If you’re not, Google came up with a cool interactive animation to explain the concept.

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Statue Of Liberty Delivery

On June 17, 2015, Google marked the 130th anniversary of the day France delivered the Statue of Liberty to the United States. The statue was delivered in several pieces and assembled upon arrival.

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Happy 16th Birthday, Google!

Google celebrated its sweet 16 on Sept. 27, 2014, with a simple doodle that’s a subtle reminder of how very young it is.

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