1. 1937: The Golden Gate Bridge opens for pedestrians
More than 200,000 people showed up to the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge on this day back in 1937. Construction had began January of 1933 and at the time of completion it was the longest suspension bridge in the world at 4,200 feet. The bridge was made to connect the San Francisco and Marin counties and it spans the narrow strait known as the “Golden Gate” so its not just a clever name. The main engineer, Joseph Strauss had battled city officials and many others for nearly 16 years to make the project happen. The day it was finished he gave a speech were he pointed out all the naysayers saying “The Bridge which could not and should not be built, which the War Department would not permit, Which the Rocky Foundation of the pier base would not support, which would have no traffic to justify it, which would ruin the beauty of the Golden Gate, which could not be completed within my cost estimate of $27,165,000 stands before you in all its majestic splendor, complete refutation of every attack made upon it.” I Thought that was pretty clever. Roughly 18,000 people had arrived as early as 6 a.m. to be one of the first people to walk across the new bridge. The following day the bridge was opened for vehicle traffic and more than 32,000 crossed by the end of the day.