The Opening of The Golden Gate Bridge – 75 Years ago…

The Golden Gate Bridge celebrates its 75th anniversary
(©lysander07)

On May 27th 1937 The Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco spanning over the opening of the San Francisco Bay and connecting the City with Marin County was opened for public traffic. When the planning for the bridge started back in 1916 many experts said that a bridge couldn’t be built across the 6,700 ft (2,042 m) strait. It had strong, swirling tides and currents, with water 372 ft (113 m) deep at the center of the channel, and frequent strong winds. Experts said that ferocious winds and blinding fogs would prevent construction and operation. Construction began on January 5, 1933. The project cost more than $35 million, but finished with $1.3 million under the budget.

More people die by suicide at the Golden Gate Bridge than at any other site in the world. The deck is approximately 245 feet (75 m) above the waterline. After a fall of about four seconds, jumpers hit the water at 75 mph (120 km/h). Most jumpers die from impact trauma on contact with the water. The few who survive the initial impact generally drown or die of hypothermia in the cold water. An official suicide count is kept, sorted according to which of the bridge’s 128 lamp posts the jumper was nearest when he or she jumped. By 2005, this count exceeded 1,200 and new suicides were occurring about once every two weeks…

 At Yovisto we have footage material from the time of its construction and its opening in 1937.

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