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National Days

TODAY’S NATIONAL DAY, 10/19/20 – BRIDGE DAY!

Well, this one is mainly celebrated by bungee jumpers in West Virginia, where they still marvel at740px-Brooklyn_Bridge_Postdlf the innovation of steel bridges, but today it goes mainstream on

NATIONAL BRIDGE DAY!

There are an estimated 600,000 bridges in the United States, one for every 550 people, crossing mighty rivers and deep valleys, or small streams and culverts.

The king of them all, of course, and still the most beautiful, is the graceful Brooklyn Bridge, the world’s first mile-plus steel suspension bridge, the largest span ever before attempted, and a revolutionary idea that was widely predicted to be a monumental engineering disaster. When completed, it would be the tallest structure in North America.

John Roebling’s most ambitious project opened in 1883, and the Brooklyn Bridge is still open for business. It was the first direct road link from Brooklyn to Manhattan, and soon led to the building of 3 more East River bridges and the incorporation of Greater New York City in 1896.

The Brooklyn Bridge carries 130,000 passenger vehicles every day, and its elevated pedestrian boardwalk makes for a breezy 20 minute stroll between boroughs, offering one of the most spectacular views of the New York Skyline to be found.

Every city has its defining bridge; San Francisco has the Golden Gate, Paris, the Pont Neuf, and London has Tower Bridge. New York City has about 20 mighty suspension bridges these days, some larger and sleeker, but none with either the Mojo or the Majesty of the Brooklyn Bridge.

•Suggested Activities: Hijacking West Virginia’s holidays, appreciating bridges

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