You have to love when people do things they are told cannot be done. And when they do them with high style and breathtaking beauty, we’re all richer for their efforts. That’s why today we celebrate
NATIONAL GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE DAY!
The Golden Gate is the strait that joins San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. The City of San Francisco is on the south side and Marin County on the north, with a mile of deep water separating the two. A bridge across the Golden Gate had been proposed as early as 1916, but the best engineering minds of the day considered it an impossible feat.
Enter Joseph Strauss, a poet and builder of 400 inland draw bridges who had never built anything so massive. Nonetheless, he convinced the City Fathers on both sides of the Bay that it could be done and began submitting plans and drumming up support.
Strauss became the chief engineer on the project, building a bridge modified from his original designs by Irving Morrow, Charles Ellis and Leon Moisseiff, who had designed the Manhattan Bridge in New York City. Such was the distance spanned that, for the first time, the calculations factored in the curvature of the earth.
The result was the longest suspension bridge in the world, and one of the most beautiful. It took 4 years to build and was opened to pedestrians on this day in 1937, hailed as a Wonder of The Modern World.
No longer the world’s longest, it has survived several earthquakes, more suicide leaps than any other bridge, and being “destroyed” in countless monster and sci-fi movies. The Golden Gate Bridge still serves the greater metropolitan area it created, handling 40 million vehicles a year.
•Suggested Activities: Dreaming, and dreaming big.