Today in History: Bay Bridge opens in 1936

Today in History: Bay Bridge opens in 1936

The San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge, known locally as the Bay Bridge, is a complex of bridges spanning San Francisco Bay in California. As part of Interstate 80 and the direct road between San Francisco and Oakland, it carries about 260,000 vehicles a day on its two decks and has one of the longest spans in the United States. The toll bridge was conceived as early as the gold rush days, but construction did not begin until 1933. Designed by Charles H. Purcell, and built by American Bridge Company, it opened on November 12, 1936, six months before the Golden Gate Bridge. It originally carried automobile traffic on its upper deck, and trucks and interurban streetcars on the lower, but after the Key System abandoned rail service, the lower deck was converted to all-road traffic as well. Source: wikipedia.org

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Today in History: Yosemite Park established in 1890

Today in History: Yosemite Park established in 1890

128 years ago today, Yosemite National Park was established as a national park. The 1,500 square miles of park territory are home to such natural wonders as Yosemite Falls; rock formations Half Dome and El Capitan, the largest granite monolith in the United States; and the giant sequoia trees. In 1889, John Muir and his fellow environmentalists started campaigning for congressional action to protect the large wilderness area surrounding Yosemite Valley and on October 1, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the legislation that created the third national park in the United States.

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Today in History: Sequoia National Park is established in 1890

Today in History: Sequoia National Park is established in 1890

The park, situated in the southern Sierra Nevada in the state of California is famous for its giant sequoia trees,  including the General Sherman tree, the largest tree on Earth. The General Sherman tree grows in the Giant Forest, which contains five out of the ten largest trees in the world.

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Today in History: California 31st state of the United States in 1850

Today in History: California 31st state of the United States in 1850

California had been only part of the United States territory for two years (following the Mexican-American War) when it was admitted to the Union as the 31st state of the United States on September 9, 1850. The second largest state at the time (until the admission of Alaska), California is currently the most populous U.S. state. Blessed with beautiful beaches, mountains, and stunning scenery, it is home to Yosemite National Park, the world class city of San Francisco and tourist sensations ranging from the Golden Gate to Disneyland.

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Today in History: Golden Gate Bridge opens in 1937

Today in History: Golden Gate Bridge opens in 1937

81 years ago today, on the opening day of the Golden Gate Bridge, some 200,000 pedestrians appeared to cross the bay between San Francisco and Marin County. A day later, the bridge opened to traffic. With a total length of 8,981 ft. (2,737 m), the Golden Gate Bridge remained the largest suspension bridge in the world until 1964. First ideas and drafts of the project started circulating at the end of the 19th century but no one thought the project financially and technically feasible. Today, the bridge is considered to be one of the Wonders of the Modern World. Frommers travel guide called it ” possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world.”

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Today in History: Euro Disneyland opens in 1992

Today in History: Euro Disneyland opens in 1992

26 years ago today, the happiest place on earth opened its doors on the European continent in Marne-la-Vallée, near Paris, France. Attracting some 10 million visitors each year, Disneyland Paris (as it is called today) is the most popular theme park in Europe.

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Today in History: Gold discovered in California in 1848

Today in History: Gold discovered in California in 1848

170 years ago today, the California Gold Rush (1848 – 1855) began when the carpenter James W. Marshall discovered gold at Coloma’s Sutter’s Mill near the Sacramento River. His discovery triggered the first and biggest gold rush in North American history. Within one year, some 80,000 gold-seekers – the so-called “forty-niners” – moved to the region to pursure their fortune. By 1853, the number of adventurers had risen to a quarter of a million. After exploiting the most productive gold mines, many of the newly created camps and villages became ghost towns. As a result of the great gold rush, the foundation for the “Golden State” of California had been laid. In 1850, California became the 31st state to join the United States.

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