A Google Doodle celebrated one of the pioneering United States social workers, Jane Addams on 6 September 2013. She is the only social worker and was the first American woman to win the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, doing so in 1931. Addams was born on 6 September 153 years ago.
A Google Doodle is a picture posted on the Google search engine welcome page for one day to celebrate a significant anniversary. It is thought that this is the first time that a social worker has been recognised in this way. The doodle was only used on the US Google homepage but can now be seen on this website.
The Doodle depicts a pastel drawing of Hull House in Chicago, the community centre set up by Jane Addams, showing children being educated, being cared for by a physician, and celebrating the arts.
‘Addams cofounded the Hull House in Chicago with Ellen Gates Starr in 1889’, writes Jennifer Slegg. ‘The house, which was named after the home’s original owner, was originally opened to help European immigrants, but by 1911 Hull House expanded to 13 buildings and held social, educational, and artistic programs. It eventually expanded to include a day care center, public baths, nutritious food, and additional services. The building is now a museum celebrating the work of Jane Addams and her team and her contribution to the development of social work.’
Addams suffered from a spinal deformity for most of her life and could not attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo due to ill health. She was actually admitted to a hospital on the same day the award was presented. She died from cancer on 21 May 21 1935. Her funeral was held in the courtyard of Hull House.
For more information about the Google Doodle read more here
For more information about the Nobel Prize and Jane Addams, visit the Nobel Prize website
New York Times obituary – ‘Jane Addams: a foe of war and need‘.
Visit Hull House museum for information about the museum
See also the NASW tribute to Jane Addams
Read analysis of the closure of the Hull House settlement and discussion about a revival of the settlement movement here
Two biographies about Jane Addams have been written by Louise W. Knight: Citizen: Jane Addams and The Struggle for Democracy, about her formative years, and Jane Addams: Spirit in Action.