Today’s Google doodle marks the 175th birthday of Ida Lewis, a lighthouse keeper once hailed as “America’s Bravest Woman” for the numerous lives she saved from drowning.
As the owner of the Lime Rock Lighthouse in Rhode Island, Google says Idawalley Zorada Lewis made her first save at the age of 12 and continued braving into the Newport harbor’s dangerous, cold waters to save drowning men and women all the way into her sixties.
From the Google Doodle Blog:
A lighthouse keeper required unwavering courage, sheer physical strength, constant diligence, and a willingness to put one’s own life on the line. Ida was so dedicated that supposedly she would rush into inclement weather without shoes or coat so as not a waste a single second. Her life and legacy were not only an honor to research and illustrate, but truly a source of inspiration.
Today’s doodle was inspired by an event that resulted in Lewis being awarded a Gold Lifesaving Medal from President Grant when she saved two soldiers who had fallen through ice in February of 1881. While many of the lives Lewis saved went unrecorded, Google says that day’s events were covered in local newspapers and, at least, one national publication.
Designed by doodler Lydia Nichols, the doodle is a slide show made up of the following ten images highlighting Lewis’ actions and the accolades she received:
The doodle leads to a search for “Ida Lewis” and is being displayed on Google’s U.S. homepage and on a handful of other International homepages.