Have you peeped Google today? It’s all about Susan La Flesche Picotte, the first Native American doctor in America.
The search engine site, which sometimes uses its homepage to honor prominent figures, is highlighting the pioneer Saturday on what would have been her 152nd birthday.
Born in 1865 on the Omaha Reservation, Picotte was exposed to the education system at a young age. By the time she finished grade school, she was well prepared for college, attending Hampton University with her sister.
Although the institution encouraged women students to return home to be housewives after graduation, she decided to apply for medical schools instead.
At Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, she was the valedictorian of her class and went on to become a government physician at the Omaha Agency Indian School.
While she was only allowed to teach students hygiene and personal health, she still managed to treat patients in her community frequently.
"Dr. Sue” eventually opened her own practice, married and gave birth to two children. But when her husband developed a drinking problem, she joined the temperance movement.
Not only did Picotte push for prohibition and public health reform, but she also advocated for the rights of Native Americans. Through her efforts, she was able to raise money so that she could open a hospital.
There, she treated people of all races until she died at age 50 in 1915 of what many suspect to have been bone cancer.
Since her death, her reservation hospital, which is now a community center, has been named after her and turned into a National Historic Landmark. And an elementary school in Omaha was also named in her honor.
Now Google is paying tribute. Check out the doodle archive to see Picotte’s animated doodle.
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