Remembering Golden Gate's Grand Opening

On the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, Richard Gonzales visits with those who made the first crossing on foot.

San Francisco's cold wind and fog did not keep people from rushing across the Golden Gate Bridge when it opened on May 27th, 1937. Open only to pedestrians that first day, some 200,000 people made their way across the 2 mile expanse. While most walked, others raced, unicycled, skated and danced between San Francisco and Marin County.

Memories of those of those who attended the opening range from fear of the great height and expansiveness, to awe of the unprecedented engineering accomplishment. Many in Marin County had concerns about sprawl from San Francisco. Nancy Kent Danielson, now 85, recalls, "We suspected the bridge was going up just so it could ruin Marin County."

Lola Silvestri, a 16 year old in 1937, remembers the opening of the bridge differently. "We started out on the bridge as strangers," she says. "By the time we got to the other side, we knew everybody."

Thanks to Jessica Brent

Full Story: Walk This Way: Crossing The Golden Gate Bridge

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