The 1.7-mile-long leg has endured earthquakes, lead paint and record crowds since its historic construction in 1937.

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The 1.7-mile-long golden Gate Bridge, an symbol of the san Francisco just region, connect the city of san Francisco to Marin County, California. At its perfect in 1937, the suspension bridge was considered an engineering marvel—the longest key suspension bridge expectancy in the world. It held that record until new York City's Verrazano Narrows Bridge opened in 1964 and, together of 2019, the Akashi Kaikyo bridge in Japan boasts the world’s longest span.

Today, the West shore landmark draws millions of commuters—and tourists—each year. Here are eight historical and surprising quick facts around the gold Gate Bridge.

1. An earthquake to win the bridge prior to it was also completed.


The golden Gate leg under construction in san Francisco, California, April 1935. 

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In June 1935 an earthquake win the an ar as men operated atop the bridge's unfinished south tower. Follow to PBS' American Experience, one worker recalled, "the tower swayed 16 feet each way. There were 12 or 13 males on peak with no method to obtain down... The totality thing would guide toward the ocean, males would say, 'here we go!' then it would sway ago toward the bay."


The safety and security net mounted under the gold Gate leg which saved the stays of 19 men. 

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During construction, a security net was suspended under the floor the the bridge, extending 10 feet wider than the bridge’s width and 15 feet longer than its length. The net proved an invaluable precaution as it saved the resides of 19 men. These men became known as members the the "Half-Way-to-Hell Club." in spite of such safety and security measures, 11 men passed away during the bridge's construction.


Thick repaint on cables that the gold Gate leg in their iconic color. 

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The U.S. Navy had actually lobbied the the bridge be painted in blue and yellow stripes to rise its visibility. However when the steel arrived in mountain Francisco painted in a charred red hue as primer, the consulting architect made decision the color was both very visible—and an ext pleasing come the eye. The bridge's color is officially referred to as international orange. 

4. Numerous 'firsts' were collection on the bridges opening day.


Some of the countless guests that walked across the gold Gate Bridge once it was opened up to pedestrians in 1937. 

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San Franciscans commemorated the opening of the gold Gate Bridge with Pedestrian job on may 27, 1937. As countless as 200,000 human being crossed the leg that day. Civilization competed to it is in the an initial to run, push a infant stroller, and even roller skate across the golden Gate Bridge. 

The San Francisco Chronicle tape-recorded some the the more outlandish firsts, consisting of the first person to overcome the golden Gate leg on stilts. The bridge opened up to vehicular website traffic the adhering to day.


Press cars crossing the bridge before opening job in might 1937. 

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The initial toll for the bridge was 50 cents each way—roughly tantamount to one $18.00 roundtrip today—a hefty price to salary in the midst of the an excellent Depression. Today, gold Gate bridge tolls are collected in one direction only, heading southbound into the city of san Francisco.

Eight hundred thousand human being crowded onto the gold Gate bridge to memory its 50th anniversary on may 24, 1987. 

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San Francisco commemorated the 50th anniversary of the gold Gate leg on might 24, 1987 through a bridge walk. The bridge started to groan and also sway with an estimated 300,000 human being packed favor sardines top top it. The middle of the leg sagged seven feet under the unprecedented weight, leading to the above arch to flatten. 

Officials easily closed the bridge, preventing secondary 600,000 civilization from crossing. Designers afterward claimed that the bridge, i beg your pardon was built to bend, was never in risk of collapsing.

7. The golden Gate Bridges fog horns blare various tones.

The golden Gate Bridge’s fog horns, an installed at the middle and also south tower (San Francisco side) the the bridge, might be practically as iconic together the structure itself. The mountain Francisco just is famously foggy, and also the leg may have a slight affect on directing the circulation of the fog as that pushes up and also pours down around the Bridge. Each horn emits a different tone at different times to help guide pearls safely through dense fog. 

During March, the fog horns may be heard for less than half-an-hour a day, though during the summer—San Francisco’s foggy season—they might blare for five or much more hours because that days at a time. The two fog horns, ~ above average, sound for an typical of 2.5 hours each day transparent the year.

The color of the bridge, officially referred to as international orange, was liked in part because the its high visibility in fog.

8. It took 30 year to eliminate lead-based repaint from the bridge.

Two artist suspended in a cradle at work on underside of the gold Gate Bridge, mountain Francisco, California on June 24, 1965.

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In the 1930s, the gold Gate leg was coated v a primer the was two-thirds (by weight) lead. The architects plan the lead-based repaint to defend the steel structure from corrosion, but later learned the lead is harmful come humans and the environment. 

A substantial cleanup initiative to eliminate all the lead-based repaint from the bridge started in 1965 and also ended in 1995. Today, a zinc-based primer paint is used instead. The gold Gate leg Highway and Transportation district calls the zinc a “sacrificial metal” the protects the steel from rust. 

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