Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Google Doodle Honoring the 120th Anniversary of Pearl Buck's Birth?

Today Google debuted another Doodle.  Some users of the world's most popular search engine logged on today and saw San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge instead of the usual Google logo.  In a post on their Google+ feed the company explained that the doodle celebrates it's 75th Anniversary.  Google frequently marks significant events and anniversaries with doodles, such as the birthday of some significant figure or the anniversary of an important event in human history.

The birthday of composer Igor Stravinsky and filmmaker Federico Fellini have been celebrated on anniversaries of their birth, as have the anniversaries of the flight of the first man in space.  They can be limited to specific regions, countries, and groups of countries or they can be run worldwide.

Sometimes the doodle are animated or interactive.  Click here and hit play and you can listen to my composition recorded on the synthesizer that took the place of the logo on May 23, the 78th birthday of Robert Moog, creator of the Moog Synthesizer.  Turn your volume down. It's bad! 

June 26th is the 120th anniversary of the birth of Pearl S. Buck.  Surely she is as worthy of a Google Doodle as most of the figures the company has already honored! 

She is a giant in the world of letters, highly acclaimed an popular around the world, even today.  More than that, she was a great humanitarian who lived a life of service. Sadly, her legacy is not as well known as it should be.  Hundreds of millions of searches are conducted on Google each day.  A Google Doodle will put her name in front every person who does one from the Google search page.

I've written Google suggesting the consider a Pearl S. Buck doodle on June 26.  Most of us at the Birthplace are doing the same.  We're hoping to send up a noticeable cry from her hometown of Hillsboro where we celebrate her birthday in conjunction with our annual Heritage Fair.  But we recognize that Pearl does not belong to us simply by virtue of being born here.  We're asking other institutions to help us, too.

We're also asking you, anyone who reads this entry.  There have been a lot of people touched by Pearl Buck in some way.  Many of you can probably make the case much better than I.  

There is no formal process for proposing a Google Doodle, and suggestions can come from anywhere.  Google only takes suggestions via email at   We've drafted a template message below, explaining why Pearl S. Buck is an important cultural figure.  Feel free to cut and paste it, sending it as is.  Better yet, personalize it with your story, but keep it simple, polite and short.  That way it is more likely to be read.

Time is short, and it may not even be doable in this tiny window, but it's worth a try.  Thanks! 

Dear Google,

With hundreds of millions of searches performed every day, a global reach into even most remote corners of the world,  and a reputation for accuracy and reliability, to be the subject of a Google Doodle on your birthday or some significant anniversary has become a great honor.  The late author and humanitarian Pearl S. Buck deserves such an honor and I am writing to suggest you consider running a Google Doodle on the 120th anniversary of her birth, which will be June 26, 2012.

Pearl Buck is best known as a novelist. She won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for her novel The Good Earth, and became the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. She wrote prolifically throughout her life, and her work did a great deal to demystify China and Asian culture for the West. But she was more than a novelist: She was a tireless advocate for peace and cultural understanding, and she was a political journalist who felt compelled to speak out on civil rights and women’s issues.

In all, Pearl Buck published more than eighty books, including novels, story collections, nonfiction, translations and children’s books. Many were translated into different languages and published around the world. Fifteen were Book of the Month selections, and most were best-sellers. The fact that her work was so widely read is part of what makes her so important. The empathy she brought to her characters, be they Chinese peasants or American housewives, shaped the way a whole generation of readers felt about other nations and cultures. No wonder she has been praised by the likes of modern-day writers Maxine Hong Kingston and Toni Morrison.

Though she is most remembered as a writer, Pearl Buck’s humanitarian endeavors should not be overlooked.  She was generous with her time, labor and money in support of causes she believed in, and there were many, many such causes.  Most notably, she set up The Welcome House, an agency for the adoption of Asian-American and other mixed race children who, at the time were considered “un-adoptable” by most orphanages and placement agencies. Indeed, few people have done as much to change attitudes on the rights of the child as Pearl Buck.

Please consider a Google Doodle honoring Pearl S. Buck for June 26, 2012. She certainly deserves it.



  1. June 26, 2012 ~ Happy Birthday Ms. Pearl!

  2. This didn't appear, unfortunately, but why not for the 121st anniversary?