Honoring China’s ‘The Year of the Pig’

Over the weekend, Google highlighted the Chinese New Year – the year of the pig – with a couple of the porkers dancing in place of the “Os” in its name. But today, the Internet behemoth that recognizes holidays and special events with modifications to its logo declined to recognize the birthday of George Washington, “the father of our country” and the first president of the United States.

It’s been able, in recent months, to highlight special honors for Percival Lowell, Edvard Munch and Louis Braille. Lowell was an astronomer, Munch an artist, and Braille developed Braille writing for the blind.

Honoring Percival Lowell

But while the rest of the nation marked the 275th anniversary of the birth of George Washington, Google did not. Google officials also did not return WND e-mails and messages inquiring about the lack of recognition for Washington.

Honoring Edvard Munch

The only reference to Washington on the company’s various corporate pages was on its GoogleBlog, where in 2006 Jen Grant, the product marketing manager for Google Book search, wrote a couple of paragraphs promoting the features of the search.

Why are we paging through presidential history? Today is Presidents Day – or, to be more accurate, Washington’s Birthday. What we now call Presidents Day was first celebrated on February 22, 1796, commemorating George Washington’s birth in 1732. But according the calendar that was in use when Washington was born, his birthday was on the 11th, not the 22nd. When he was a young man of 20, Great Britain and her colonies adopted the modern Gregorian calendar, skipping 11 days and making January, not March, the first month of the year.

That’s right – over the course of Washington’s life, the times quite literally changed. And to make things even more complicated, in 1968 Congress passed a law making the third Monday in February a holiday commemorating Washington’s Birthday, regardless of the date. Since then, historically minded sorts have suggested it be called “Presidents Day” to account for Lincoln’s February 12 birthday too; today many people associate the third Monday in February with both Washington and Lincoln.

Grant then listed some of the featured items in a search of the Google Books Library Project.

Honoring Louis Braille

As WND reported last week, Google acknowledged Valentine’s Day with a special modification of its logo that appeared to spell “Googe.”

Google’s 2007 Valentine’s Day logo appears to be missing the letter ‘L’ at first glance

Other days that have been honored have included National Teachers Day, Women’s Day, Ray Charles birthday, World Water Day and St. George’s Day,

The company came under fire when recently, for the 8th year in a row, it made no effort to commemorate any holiday honoring U.S. veterans or war dead on either Veterans Day or Memorial Day. It claimed the holiday was too solemn, though its Canadian homepage did feature a tribute to fallen soldiers.

Google’s holiday signature is a dressed-up corporate logo for major holidays and lesser-known occasions alike. Besides overlooking Veterans Day and Memorial Day since the company’s inception in 1999, it also has ignored Christmas.

Google has been criticized for its one-sided political contributions and content policies:

  • Rejecting an ad for a book critical of Bill and Hillary Clinton while continuing to accept anti-Bush themes
  • Rejecting ads critical of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., while continuing to run attack ads against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas.
  • Allowing the communist Chinese government to have the search engine block “objectionable” search terms such as “democracy.”

In addition, the company came under fire for an editorial decision giving preferential placement to large, elite media outlets such as CNN and the BBC over independent news sources, such as WND, even if they are more recent, pertinent and exhaustive in their coverage.

As WND reported, 98 percent of all political donations by Google employees went to support Democrats, and as a matter of fact, Al Gore is now a senior adviser to Google.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave the maximum legal limit of donations to Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry and to primary candidate Howard Dean.

Schmidt also contributed the maximum amount to Sen. Clinton.

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Previous stories:

Google spells its name wrong on Valentine’s Day?

Google: Veterans Day ‘too solemn’ for logo

Google no-show for Veterans Day

YouTube blocked video mocking Clinton administration

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Bush labeled ‘a–hole’ in new Google bomb

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Google goes ballistic after getting Googled

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Google blocks ad for anti-Clinton book

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Google censoring conservative ads?

Google: Big Media has higher quality

Google censoring search results in China

Google bars ‘hate’ sites’ ads, but runs porn ads

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Google ‘miserable failure’: It’s Bush

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