Golden Gate Bridge Opens In 1937: 200,000 People Celebrate By Walking Across It

By | May 26, 2020

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More than 200,000 people walked across the Golden Gate Bridge when it opened. (

Today, it's hard to imagine San Francisco without the iconic, bright orange Golden Gate Bridge serving as the city's centerpiece, but that was reality for its citizens prior to May 27, 1937. On that official opening day, the bridge was only open to foot traffic to give residents of the city and visiting dignitaries the opportunity to see the City by the Bay from a whole new perspective and marvel at the modern engineering of the structure. More than 200,000 people came out to celebrate the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge. The following day, on May 28, cars were allowed on the bridge for the first time.

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Construction began in 1933. (

Planning The Bridge

As far back as the 1870s, people in San Francisco bemoaned the need for a bridge to span the Golden Gate Strait. Many of the city's leaders were against the idea for a variety of reasons, such as cost, aesthetics, and their interest in keeping business within the city limits, but by the 1920s, public opinion had turned in favor of a bridge project. In 1921, city officials formed a committee and accepted the construction design and bid that was submitted by Joseph Strauss. Over the next few years, Strauss worked with other engineers and architects to improve the design, ending up with the art deco style and signature color that we all recognize today. (Fun fact: It's called "international orange.")