The Madeleine Brand Show for May 24, 2012

Golden Gate Bridge turns 75 without even thinking about retirement

Picture dated October 1935 of the Golden

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in October, 1935, in the San Francisco Bay. Construction began on January 5,1933 and was inaugurated May 27, 1937 by Franklin Delano Roosevelt — who pushed a button in Washington, DC, to signal the official start of vehicle traffic over the Bridge.

This Sunday, the Golden Gate Bridge turns 75. The structure is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, Calif., and the U.S., and declared one of the modern Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Mack Collings was just 16 years old when the suspension bridge completed construction in 1937. He's 90 years old now, but he still remembers performing in a marching band to celebrate the opening of the bridge. His school band from Provo, Utah was invited to play the opening ceremony.

The Frommers travel guide calls the Golden Gate Bridge "possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world".

When the bridge opened in 1937, the Golden Gate was the longest suspension bridge in the world — over 4000 feet of steel connects San Francisco and Marin County. The city of San Francisco threw a week long party to celebrate the opening of the Golden Gate. When the city opened up the bridge to pedestrians, 200,000 people crossed the bridge.

Guest:


Mack Collings, a retired trumpet player joins us from his home in Hesperia, Calif.


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