A Google Doodle today celebrates one of the pioneering United States social workers, Jane Addams. She was the first American woman to win the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, doing so in 1931. Addams was born on this date 153 years ago.
The Doodle depicts a pastel drawing of Hull House in Chicago, showing children being educated, being cared for by a physician, and celebrating the arts. The Doodle is only featured on Google’s U.S. homepage. Clicking on the special logo takes visitors to a search results page for Jane Addams.
Addams was most known for campaigning for women’s rights, social reform, and services for women, children, and immigrants. Due to her high profile, J. Edgar Hoover, founding director of the FBI, once considered her the “most dangerous woman in America.”
Addams cofounded the Hull House in Chicago with Ellen Gates Starr in 1889. 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.
While Gates and Starr were the first two residents of Hull house, eventually 25 women were in residence at Hull House, and 2,000 people visited each week for the many services offered. The night school for adults eventually became what we now know as continuing education classes, which are taught in the evenings at many universities and colleges.
Addams was head resident of Hull House until her death. Hull House continued to operate until 2012.
It was announced on January 19, 2012 that Hull House would be closing in the spring of that year and filing for bankruptcy. However, Hull House closed later that month. It was later reopened as a museum.
All of the additional buildings surrounding Hull House, with the exception of the dining hall, were destroyed by the University of Illinois.
Addams, who suffered from a spinal deformity for most of her life, was unable to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo due to ill health. On the same day the award was presented, Addams was actually being admitted to a hospital. She died from cancer on May 21, 1935, with her funeral being held in the courtyard of Hull House.