Second update, 11:07pm: I was just contacted by a very nice person at Google who sent me an official response, to be attributed to a Google spokesperson:
"We enjoy observing special occasions and holidays at Google. One of the many ways we do so is through Google doodles, which aim to celebrate interesting events and anniversaries around the world that reflect Google's fun and whimsical personality and love of innovation. From time to time, we include a special graphic with text on the Google home page in recognition of an important event in history, just like what you see today, which celebrates the 90th anniversary of the 19th amendment."
The Googler who contacted me also told me that the reason I hadn't heard back from them is they had no record of my email. My email generally goes through, but after some investigation, I discovered that the corporate hosting provider I use was having some difficulties today. So, overall, I think we can consider this "mystery solved." As always, thanks to the nice folks at Google.
Original story begins here
Here's a weird one. We've all come to know and love Google's practice of changing its logo to mark all sorts of special anniversaries and dates, from the World Cup to Rube Goldberg's birthday.
Today, however is different.
Today, August 18, 2010, is the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote in the United States.
Actually, the 19th Amendment didn't, technically, give women the right to vote, it actually said:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
By all measures, this is as important an anniversary as any other and is as Google doodle-worthy as any other. And yet, rather than issuing a doodle, Google placed a special line on their Web site, stating:
Celebrating 90 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote.
Another common practice in Google doodles is if you're not sure what the doodle is about, you can click it and the result is a Google search that provides further information.
In today's case, however, neither the "Celebrating 90 years" tag line nor the little icon to its left is wired with a link.
I applaud Google for recognizing this important date, but it is quite curious why this particular anniversary got such a different style of treatment from all others.
I have an email in to Google's press team and if they provide any insight, I'll update this article with their comments.
Update 2:24pm ET: This just gets more curious. Still no word from Google.
ZDNet Managing Editor David Grober reports getting different displays and messages for every three refreshes, with none of them mentioning women's right to vote (where my Google home screen is staying rock solid at the above image).
His latest refresh has been shortened further and simply says, "90th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment". Here's one of his screenshots: