On May 27, 1937, the city of San Francisco offered its residents something colossal. Using their feet — not a boat — hundreds of thousands of people crossed the San Francisco Bay, hundreds of feet above the ground. They did so by making their game-changing sojourn on the Golden Gate Bridge, which opened that very day and set the course for the Bay Area’s subsequent development.
This infrastructural feat did not come without struggle. Construction began in 1933, but its completion was threatened by the Depression, administrative hurdles, and dueling egos. Eleven people died while constructing the bridge, with those who fell but survived being deemed members of the “Halfway to Hell” club.
But the pains were worth it; the 4,200 feet long bridge still stands today. Since its completion, more than a billion cars have passed over the Golden Gate Bridge, and it’s only been closed three times.