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Mark Twain Google Doodle: A History of the Google Doodle

Search giant Google is celebrating what would be the 176th birthday of the US writer Mark Twain with his very own Google Doodle. But how did the Google Doodle start?

Visitors to the Google home screen today are greeted with a old-style mural based on Twain’s iconic work The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The doodle is believed to be based on an incident that occurs in the book when Sawyer is made to paint his Aunt Polly’s fence as a punishment for getting his clothes dirty during a fight.

Google are increasingly using their home screen to showcase memorable dates, events and people. Just last week showcased the work of Polish Sci-Fi writer Stanislaw Lem, honouring the 60th anniversary of the publication of his book, The Astronauts, with an interactive Google Doodle.

Earlier in November it was the turn of Edmond Halley – yep, him of Halley’s Comet fame – to receive the Google Doodle treatment. To celebrate the 335th birthday of the British astronomer Google’s home page and logo was transformed into a world of planets on strings.

How Many Google Doodles Have There Been?

Google has created over 300 doodles for in the United States and over 700 internationally. But did you know that the first Google Doodle, like many good ideas, actually came about by accident.

Way back in 1998 when Google was a humble start-up, Google founders Larry and Sergey played with the Google logo to indicate their attendance at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert.

According to the Google Doodle website ‘a stick figure drawing was placed behind the 2nd “o” in the word, Google and the revised logo was intended as a comical message to Google users that the founders were “out of office.”

After that the idea of incorporating more regular Google Doodles into the home screen was born. The first real Google Doodle was launched in 2000 to celebrate Bastille Day. To start with doodles tended to celebrate largely visible holidays such as Christmas and Easter, but today, as the Mark Twain Google Doodle shows, doodles represent a number of events and anniversaries from around the planet.

How are Google Doodles Chosen?

And if you really want to see that Google Doodle commemorating a famous football game, celebrity birth or the publication of your favourite book, you can even contact the doodle team. Requests for doodles can be sent to