Why No Columbus Day Google Doodle? (Explained)

According to OPM, Columbus Day is one of 11 (12 during an inauguration year) federal holidays, yet there’s no Google Doodle on Columbus Day. Google doodle has advanced from a small idea to commemorate events in history to an elaborate feature operated by a team of experts. But many, including myself, wonder why there’s no Columbus Day Google Doodle.

There is no Google Doodle for Columbus Day. Though it’s a US federal holiday and certainly eventful in American history, Google chooses not to commemorate Columbus Day as it’s considered controversial. For instance, some think honoring Columbus is akin to agreeing with racists and slavery.

Scroll on to learn more about Google doodle, and why there isn’t one to honor Columbus Day.


What Is The Google Doodle? 

Google Doodle is a specialized Google logo for important historical events and holidays, as well as significant people like scientists and artists. The first Doodle was in 1998 about Burning Man, and since then it’s expanded from simple images with descriptions to interactive hyperlinks and games.

If interested in learning about Google history itself, I recommend Google It found on Amazon.

Here are just a few tidbits of the many memorable Google Doodles featured each year:

  • There have been over 4,000 Google Doodles since it began.
  • Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Independence Day have all been featured yearly since the first Doodle.
  • Some international Google Doodles are Bastille Day, German Unity Day, Canada Day, and Sri Lanka National Day.
  • Significant people with their own Google Doodle include abolitionist Frederick Douglass; author Lucy Maud Montgomery; inventor Hubert Cecil Booth; dancer Zohra Segal; and actor Christopher Reeve.

Googles Doodles inspire and encourage a lot of people to learn about history and important people and events. It’s become so rooted in online culture that these doodles are expected, having been around over two decades.

I think you’ll also like these related articles from Hopeful Holidays:

Who Designs Google Doodles?

The Google team behind ‘Google Doodles’ is made up of Google employees called ‘Google doodlers’.

Google Doodles are designed by a team at Google known as the doodlers, though Google accepts some outside doodles yearly, too. The doodlers are made of illustrators and engineers who work together to ensure the doodles used are unique, representative, educational, and engaging.

As mentioned, Google uses some outside submissions to their doodles each year too, notably as part of their Doodle 4 Google project. This supports young and unknown talent by giving them an outlet to showcase their work and artistic ability.

Google launched the competitive Doodle 4 Google event in 2008 where participants can vie to have their doodle ‘win’ and then they receive a scholarship. The competition has several categories and divisions, allowing for up to 54 winners a year, with one national winner.

The 16-year-old 2021 winner, Milo Golding, was awarded a $30,000 college scholarship and his Kentucky school, Lexington Christian Academy, received a $50,000 technology grant too.

It’s an opportunity for children between kindergarten and twelfth grade to create a drawing based on a celebrated topic, and earn help for college. The first competitive event was in 2008, and today it includes competitors in the US, the United Kingdom, India, and many European countries. 

How Are Google Doodles Selected?

There is a special Google team that selects the doodles. Before that, however, the events and people must be chosen, essentially the themes and topics to be ‘doodled.’ And there is a separate, special selection process for Doodle 4 Google submissions.

Once topics are chosen, the doodlers get to work on the doodles for them.

And of course, much of what’s selected and how they’ll be depicted has to do with Google’s personality and company mission. It must be ‘Google worthy.’

For the Doodle 4 Google project specifically, there are special judges who evaluate submitted doodles by how well contestants followed the listed criteria: artistic merit, creativity, and theme. As well, competitors must adhere to the rules and regulations of the contest too, like only submitting original work and not being derogatory or offensive in design.

Does Google Doodle Change Every Day?

It certainly seems like there are daily Google Doodles, but that’s not the case just yet. With over 4000 doodles since 1998, doodlers create hundreds of Google Doodles a year. There are also additional doodles each year through the Doodle4Google K-12 project.

In the past, Google only honored limited events and people with doodles, and being new, it wasn’t yet gleaned notable. But as the years have passed, Google Doodles have expanded and added more and more significant events and people to honor. So much so, it almost feels like it changes every day, but it’s not in reality.

Now that Google Doodles are more common and well-known, you can almost count on what days and people will be honored. For example, most all major holidays are noted by a Google Doodle on their day.

As well, big events will generally have a doodle. For instance, the Super Bowl will have a doodle. Also, the NY Marathon will have a doodle to commemorate it’s day. And as Google tries to educate about diverse people and multicultural events, it has added from unknowns, too.

Why No Columbus Day Google Doodle?

There is no Google Doodle for Columbus Day because it’s considered controversial. Doodles are to honor people and events significant to most, or at least not considered offensive. Columbus Day is so offensive that not all 50 states honor it, even though it’s a federal holiday.

Most of the controversy surrounds the idea that Columbus’ actions were harmful and detrimental to the indigenous peoples who lived in America when he and his men landed. For them, they believe his arrival resulted in forced labor of the Native Americans (i.e. slavery), sickness to them, and the stealing of land that didn’t belong to Columbus or the European rulers he represented.

Many think Columbus was prejudice in his colonization for Spain.

The detractors over the last decades include Native Americans plus other groups who want to support them.

There are also those who disagree with Columbus Day because of his connections to Catholicism. Columbus was a devout Catholic and wrote about having his sailors pray daily. In fact, a prominent men’s Catholic organization today is known as the ‘Knights of Columbus.’

The Knights of Columbus get their name from Christopher Columbus.

For some, and possibly Google, Columbus Day is too religious to honor in a posting for the greater population.

But does Google avoid all controversy for Google Doodles? Here’s proof the answer is nope!

  • Earth Day has had a Google Doodle since 2001 despite controversy. At first glance, an Earth Day doodle seems inclusive and non-controversial, as we’re all inhabitants of earth. Yet, the history of Earth Day is marred in controversies surrounding politicking; as well its founder, Ira Einhorn, served a life sentence after decades of evasion (he past in 2020) for murdering his ex-girlfriend.
  • Google ignored Easter celebrated by 1/3 of the world, and honored the birthday of left-wing labor leader Cesar Chavez in 2013 when both fell on March 31st that year.
  • Yuri Kochiyama was honored with a Google Doodle in 2016, though as an outspoken activist, she praised terrorists Shining Path, Castro, Che Guevara, and yes, even Osama Bin Laden!

Does Columbus Day Deserve Equal Recognition?

Columbus Day deserves equal recognition for Google Doodles, despite controversy. Columbus was instrumental in the creation and development of the New World and with world expansion through trade and travel, especially with the exchange of crops and animals between Europe and America.

To demonstrate this, the US has a federal holiday to celebrate and honor the accomplishments of Christopher Columbus the second Monday of October. Though some states have since swapped Columbus Day for Indigenous People’s day, like Hawaii and California, not all states have done so and continue to celebrate Columbus openly with parades and community events.

And some have simply moved Columbus Day to a different date on the calendar, like Tennessee, who honors it the day after Thanksgiving in order to give workers an longer holiday weekend, without abolishing Columbus Day.

Why Do We Still Celebrate Columbus Day?

Many people still celebrate Columbus Day as a way to honor Western civilization’s spread, not just Christopher Columbus as a person. Even those who are negative regarding Columbus can acknowledge his impact on travel and expansion, as well as his significance in promoting trade.

Many of the things that make our country great can be traced back to Columbus’ influence. For instance, property rights, open scientific inquiry, freedom of speech, and religion are all areas impacted for good by Columbus’ voyages.

To illustrate the impact of Christopher Columbus in the US or at least the belief our forefathers felt of his significance, there are at least 23 places named Columbus. And the nation’s capital, the District of Columbia, is an homage to Mr. Columbus!

And for nothing else, Columbus’ place among in our country’s history warrants remembrance.

Wrapping Up No Columbus Day Google Doodle

To wrap it up, Google Doodle doesn’t have a Columbus Day doodle because it’s considered a controversial topic.

In recent years, there are those who’ve come to believe Columbus had a negative association with the Native Americans he encountered back in 1492. But I say they are rewriting history with their modern-view pens!

And in doing so, forgetting Columbus’ blatant contributions worthy of a Google Doodle!

So come on, Google, make a Columbus Day doodle!

To read next, I recommend one or all of these articles:

Sources Wikipedia; Fox News

Recent Posts