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February 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Churchill - What We Give

Happy Birthday Mr. Lincoln

February 12, 2014 Leave a comment

Lincoln was the tallest President. At six feet, four inches, Lincoln towered over most of his contemporaries. The average height for a man during that time was about five feet, six inches. When seated, the President was about the same height as an average man; he had exceptionally long legs.

Before Abraham Lincoln, there had never been a U.S. President with a beard. Since his presidency, four presidents have had full beards.

At the time of his marriage to Mary Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln had been very poor. Lincoln courted Mary Todd for only one year before proposing marriage. Mary Todd Lincoln’s family did not approve of the match.

Lincoln was born in Indiana but began his political career in Illinois. The Lincoln Presidential Library is located in Springfield, Illinois.

The16th President hated to go to the dentist. There was little anesthesia at the time, and one dentist has actually broken off part of Lincoln’s jaw when pulling a tooth.

After his birth mother died of milk sickness, Lincoln’s father remarried. As a boy, Lincoln was very close to his step-mother, and she was supportive of his need to educate himself.

Lincoln loved animals and did not like hunting or killing them even for food. He had several pets including dogs, cats, and even a turkey.

Most people think of Abraham Lincoln wearing a tall stovepipe hat. He used to store things in his hat, including letters and other documents.

Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln had four children. Three of their children died before reaching adulthood. Robert Lincoln was the only child to survive. Abraham Lincoln has no living descendants.

Lincoln suffered from serious depression and migraine headaches. Both could be debilitating, and there were times he spent days in bed.

Our 16th President considered himself a Christian, but he did not belong to any church. He did not routinely say grace at mealtime, but he did read the Bible. Despite not belonging to an established church, many consider Lincoln to have been a spiritual man.

Abraham Lincoln was a witty man. Many of his jokes and funny sayings have been recorded, including this one: “If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?”

Abraham Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated. He was killed on April 15, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth. At the time of his death, Lincoln was 56 years old.

One little-known fun fact about Abraham Lincoln is that he had a dream predicting his own death. In his dream, he heard crying in the White House. When he asked the person who had died, he was told that it was the President.

One of the most fascinating and well-known presidents, Abraham Lincoln is a mystery in many ways. He was a renowned jokester, despite suffering from major depression. He could wield an axe and wrestle, yet he was suffering from ill health at the time of his death. There are many contradictions surrounding the life and death of this amazing man.

Remember

January 16, 2012 Leave a comment

ONE in 2011

December 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Look What We Did During 2011

December 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Peace Be With You

December 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Thank you, Google

December 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Giving back in 2011

As the holiday season approaches we thought it was a good moment to update you on some grants we’re making to support education, technology and the fight against modern day slavery.

STEM and girls’ education
Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) open up great opportunities for young people so we’ve decided to fund 16 great programs in this area. These include Boston-based Citizen Schools and Generating Genius in the U.K., both of which work to help to expand the horizons of underprivileged youngsters. In total, our grants will provide enhanced STEM education for more than 3 million students.

In addition, we’re supporting girls’ education in the developing world. By giving a girl an education, you not only improve her opportunities, but those of her whole family. The African Leadership Academy provides merit scholarships to promising young women across the continent, and the Afghan Institute of Learning offers literacy classes to women and girls in rural Afghanistan. Groups like these will use our funds to educate more than 10,000 girls in developing countries.

Empowerment through technology
We’ve all been wowed by the entrepreneurial spirit behind the 15 awards in this category, all of whom are using the web, open source programming and other technology platforms to connect communities and improve access to information. Vittana, for instance, helps lenders offer loans to students in the developing world who have have a 99 percent repayment rate—potentially doubling or tripling a recipient’s earning power. Code for America enables the web industry to share its skills with the public sector by developing projects that improve transparency and encourage civic engagement on a mass scale. And Switchboard is working with local mobile providers to help African health care workers create networks and communicate for free.

Fighting slavery and human trafficking
Modern day slavery is a multi-billion dollar industry that ruins the lives of around 27 million people. So we’re funding a number of groups that are working to tackle the problem. For instance, in India, International Justice Mission (IJM), along with The BBC World Service Trust, Action Aid and Aide et Action, are forming a new coalition. It will work on the ground with governments to stop slave labor by identifying the ring masters, documenting abuse, freeing individuals and providing them with therapy as well as job training. Our support will also help expand the reach of tools like the powerful Slavery Footprint calculator and Polaris Project’s National Trafficking Hotline.

To learn more about these organizations and how you can get involved, visit our Google Gives Back 2011 site and take a look at this video:

These grants, which total $40 million, are only part of our annual philanthropic efforts. Over the course of the year, Google provided more than $115 million in funding to various nonprofit organizations and academic institutions around the world; our in-kind support (programs like Google Grants and Google Apps for Education that offer free products and services to eligible organizations) came to more than $1 billion, and our annual company-wide GoogleServe event and related programs enabled individual Googlers to donate more than 40,000 hours of their own volunteer time.

As 2011 draws to a close, I’m inspired by this year’s grantees and look forward to seeing their world-changing work in 2012.

Posted by Shona Brown, SVP Google.org