The Golden Gate Bridge Celebrates 75th Birthday
The City of San Francisco celebrated the 75 anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge on Memorial Day weekend.
Radio station KFOG 104.5/97.7 has a professional released a video of the spectacular fireworks display. Nothing compares to seeing fireworks in real life, but this is still pretty cool. The beginning, especially, which starts with fountains of sparks falling from the bridge into the water. I suggest watching in fullscreen with the HD enabled.
The Golden gate Bridge was officially opened for traffic on May 27, 1937. Named the Golden gate after the original name of the Strait on which it was constructed: “Chrysopylae”, or Golden Gate. We believe the term was first coined by John C. Fremont of the U.S. Army in 1846. His reasoning is that it reminded him of a harbor in Instanbul named “Chrysoceras”, or Golden Horn.
Construction of the bridge started on January 5, 1933, taking nearly four years and four months until completion. It was built by 10 different prime and subcontractors. They have long since gone out of business, so no record exists as to how many people actually worked on the bridge.
We do know that a total of eleven men died during its construction. After four years of construction the total death count was only one. At the time, this was a record low for such a huge project. On February 17, 1937, ten more men lost their lives when a section of scaffolding carrying twelve men fell through the safety net.
During the construction process, the safety net, which was suspended under the floor of the bridge and spanned from end to end, saved a total of 19 men. Those men became known as the “Halfway-to-Hell Club” amongst those in the know.
The bridge cost $35 million to build in 1937. Latest estimates taken in 2003 say the price would be around $1.2 billion if completed at that time.
It is currently the ninth largest suspension bridge, holding the title of world’s longest for 27 years before being overtaken by the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in New York in 1964.
The Mighty Task is Done
Joseph B. Strauss, Chief Engineer, Golden Gate Bridge
Written upon completion of the building of the Bridge in May 1937
At last the mighty task is done;
Resplendent in the western sun
The Bridge looms mountain high;
Its titan piers grip ocean floor,
Its great steel arms link shore with shore,
Its towers pierce the sky.
On its broad decks in rightful pride,
The world in swift parade shall ride,
Throughout all time to be;
Beneath, fleet ships from every port,
Vast landlocked bay, historic fort,
And dwarfing all–the sea.
To north, the Redwood Empire’s gates;
‘To south, a happy playground waits,
in Rapturous appeal;
Here nature, free since time began,
Yields to the restless moods of man,
Accepts his bonds of steel.
Launched midst a thousand hopes and fears,
Damned by a thousand hostile sneers,
Yet ne’er its course was stayed,
But ask of those who met the foe
Who stood alone when faith was low,
Ask them the price they paid.
Ask of the steel, each strut and wire,
Ask of the searching, purging fire,
That marked their natal hour;
Ask of the mind, the hand, the heart,
Ask of each single, stalwart part,
What gave it force and power.
An Honored cause and nobly fought
And that which they so bravely wrought,
Now glorifies their deed,
No selfish urge shall stain its life,
Nor envy, greed, intrigue, nor strife,
Nor false, ignoble creed.
High overhead its lights shall gleam,
Far, far below life’s restless stream,
Unceasingly shall flow;
For this was spun its lithe fine form,
To fear not war, nor time, nor storm,
For Fate had meant it so.