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Google Doodles refers to the art work around and incorporated into the Google logo above the engine’s search bar. First introduced in 1998, these doodles often celebrate a holiday, anniversary or birthday, and can be stationary or animated.
The first Google doodle was featured above the search bar on August 30th, 1998. Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin placed a stick figure drawing behind the 2nd “o” in Google to indicate they were attending the Burning Man Festival in Nevada. They utilized a second doodle in November of 1998 to celebrate Thanksgiving, and by 1999 they were creating doodles to celebrate not only holidays, but events like the Olympics. Page and Brin first asked Dennis Hwang, an intern at Google, to create a doodle for Bastille Day on July 14th, 2000. Hwang subsequently took responsibility for creating the doodles not created by invited artists, around 50 of the 90 unique doodles they run each year. Though Google has a doodle team, they do accept pitches from anyone. An archive of the doodles features every doodle that has ever been used.
- November 23rd, 1998: the first thanksgiving doodle
- October 31st, 1999: the first Halloween-themed doodle
- December 25th, 1999: the first Christmas and holiday-themed doodle
- January 1st, 2000: the first doodle for New Year’s Day
- February 2nd, 2000: the first doodle for Groundhog Day
- February 14th, 2000: the first doodle for Valentine’s Day
- March 17th, 2000: the first St. Patrick’s Day doodle
- April 23rd, 2000: the first Easter doodle
- May 14th, 2000: the first Mother’s Day doodle
- June 18th, 2000: the first Father’s Day doodle
- July 1st-4th, 2000: the first Independance Day doodle
- February 28th-29th, 2004: doodle featuring two jumping frogs for Leap Day
- January 21st, 2008: Martin Luther King Jr. Day doodle
- August 30th, 1998: Burning Man (Original Google Doodle)
- September 15th, 2000: a doodle for 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics
- November 7th, 2000: a doodle for the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election
- February 12th, 2010: a doodle for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics
- July 27th, 2012: a doodle for the 2012 London Olympics
- February 7th, 2014: a doodle for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia
- November 14th, 2001: a doodle of Claude Monet’s waterlilies for his 161st birthday
- September 27th, 2002: confetti covered doodle for Google’s 4th birthday
- August 29th, 2009: Michael Jackson themed doodle for his 51st birthday
- April 2nd, 2010: Hans Christian Andersen themed doodle for his 205th birthday
- July 6th, 2010: Frida Kahlo themed doodle for her birthday
- February 11th, 2011: a flickering lightbulb doodle to celebrate Thomas Edison’s 164th birthday
- June 9th, 2011: guitar doodle for Lee Paul’s 96th birthday
- May 4th, 2012: Keith Haring themed doodle for his 54th birthday
- May 24th, 2012: Moog doodle for the 78th birthday of Robert Moog
- September 27th, 2012: a chocolate cake doodle for Google’s 14th birthday
- February 9th, 2013: a solar system doodle for Nicolaus Copernicus’ 540th birthday
- October 7th, 2009: Barcode doodle for the 61st anniversary of its invention
- November 4th–10th, 2009: Sesame Street themed doodle to celebrate the show’s 40th anniversary
- April 3rd, 2011: ice cream themed doodle for the 119th anniversary of the ice cream sundae
- January 28th, 2012: snowflake doodle for the 125th anniversary of the largest recorded snowflake
- October 8th, 2012: Captain Ahab doodle for the 161st anniversary of Moby Dick
- December 20th, 2012: Little Red Ridding Hood Doodle for the 200th anniversary of Grimm’s Fairy Tales
Doodle 4 Google
The Doodle 4 Google competition has been held annually since 2008. The contest asks US students in grades K-12 to submit a doodle for consideration to become a Google doodle. The winner has their work featured on the search page, and is awarded a $30,000 scholarship. Their school is also awarded $50,000 dollars, and $20,000 is donated to charity in their name. The 2014 doodle prompt asked students to draw something that would make the world a better place. 11-year old Audrey Zhang of New York won with her drawing of a water purifier. Her doodle was featured on June 9th, 2014.