Google Honors Martin Luther King with Doodle

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Google is commemorating Martin Luther King Day today with a special Doodle. The artwork, found at the search engine giant’s home page, features a drawing of the civil rights leader and other faces circled in red, white, and blue and surrounded by words from his famous 1963 speech in which he said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Click on the Doodle and it takes you to a search results page for Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Doodle was created by painter Faith Ringgold, who is best known for her painted story quilts—art that combines painting, quilted fabric and storytelling. She has also written 11 children’s books, the first of which was a Caldecott Honor Book and winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, among numerous other honors.

Ringgold’s children’s books include “My Dream of Martin Luther King,” and in line with King’s dream her Doodle appropriately depicts several young faces.

One of those “four little chidren” mentioned in his famous speech -- Martin Luther King III -- is now president of The King Center in Atlanta, which today is making his father’s documents available online. The King Center Imaging Project is a digitization effort to preserve and make publicly available the tens of thousands of documents from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other key figures and organizations from the civil rights movement.

Dr. King, best known for advancing civil rights in the United States using nonviolent methods, was born on January 15, 1929, but the holiday commemorating him is observed on the third Monday of January every year.

Baptist minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner, King led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957. In 1963 King led a march in Washington, D.C. on the National Mall where he gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech which established him as one of the greatest orators in American history and articulated his vision of a colorblind society. He was shot and killed on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee; a fugitive from the Missouri State Penitentiary confessed to the crime, was sentenced to 99 years in prison and died behind bars in 1998.

This is not the first time Google has recognized Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday with a doodle; the search firm commemorated more than 500 international events with a doodle in 2011. (See also "20 Notable Google Doodles.")

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