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Google Doodle marks Laura Secord's 239th birthday

Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 7:58 PM - Not everybody gets a Google Doodle for their birthday, and Laura Secord is one of the few recipients of that honour.

The heroine of the War of 1812, who famously warned British troops of the American advance in Ontario during the conflict, is shown moving from point A to point B in the tastefully drawn doodle.

Born Laura Ingersoll in Massachusetts in 1775, Secord had settled in Queenston, Ont., by the time hostilities broke out between Britain and the United States. Although the doodle marks her birthday, her most fateful date was June 21, 1813, when American officers took over her home. 

She overheard the invaders discussing their plans to surprise the British position at Beaver Dams, and set out the next morning to warn the troops' commander, William FitzGibbon, of the American strategy. Taking a circuitous route to avoid American guards, she stumbled into a First Nations camp, whose leaders took her to FitzGibbon. 

Armed with the intelligence brought to him Secord, it was FitzGibbon who surprised the Americans, and persuaded them to surrender.

Despite her heroics (you can read about them in more detail here), her pivotal role in stopping the American advance actually went largely unrecognized for most of her life. The Prince of Wales, visiting Canada in 1860, was moved by her story and sent her a gift of 100 pounds. She died in 1868, the year after Confederation, at the age of 93.

Google occasionally looks for inspiration north of the border for its popular daily doodles. Previous Canadian entries include commemorating Canada's coldest day ever, as well as the Canadarm, penny and Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

NORTHERN LIGHTS: Most of Canada can still get a good look at the aurora borealis early Sunday morning (clear skies permitting). Upload your pictures and videos here, and check out the selection of viewer-submitted shots below.

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