Google Doodle celebrates birthday of civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond

Viola Desmond was dragged out of a ‘whites-only’ section of a theatre by police, thrown in jail

Civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond is being celebrated today with a Google Doodle slideshow.

The doodle on the Google.ca homepage was created by artist Sophie Diao and features 10 panels depicting Desmond’s life, from her childhood to her career as a beautician.

It also traces the now-famous incident when she refused to leave the whites-only section of a Nova Scotia movie theatre in 1946 — nearly a decade before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Alabama.

Desmond was dragged out of the theatre by police, arrested, thrown in jail for 12 hours, and fined.

WATCH: Viola Desmond honoured with Canadian Walk of Fame star

It would take 63 years for Nova Scotia to issue Desmond, who died in 1965, a posthumous apology and pardon.

Today would have been Desmond’s 104th birthday.

In March, a new $10 bill featuring Desmond was unveiled by Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz.

She is the first black person — and the first non-royal woman — on a regularly circulating Canadian bank note.

As well, Desmond is featured in a recent children’s book by Chelsea Clinton called “She Persisted Around the World,” which tells the stories of 13 women who shaped history across the globe.

The Canadian Press

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