The red, white and blue Google Doodle on the Fourth of July didn’t honor a traditional American patriot.

Instead, the spontaneous change to the corporation’s logo symbolized a significant cultural treasure with Oklahoma roots. Only this American was blacklisted.

Who is this world-famous icon? It’s none other than Woody Guthrie, a native of Okemah in Okfuskee County. The Google logo incorporated the title of his famous folk anthem “This Land Is Your Land.”

Guthrie was born 100 years ago in the Oklahoma hills. The seminal protest singer chronicled his life and times traveling westward with migrant workers.

He wrote about the Dust Bowl, Great Depression and other subjects in more than 1,000 songs.

His recordings are archived at the Library of Congress, and Smithsonian Folkways has released a new collection, “Woody at 100.”

Guthrie died in 1967, but his songs remain. So set aside the pop culture memory of learning “This Land Is Your Land” in grade school and consider the song’s pastoral grandeur.

Let’s give thanks to our pastures of plenty and celebrate Guthrie’s lasting cultural legacy.

— The Enid News and Eagle, Oklahoma, July 14

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