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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Today in History: Yosemite Park was established in 1890

Today in History: Yosemite Park was established in 1890

127 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 Capitain, 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: 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: 50th Anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival in California

Today in History: 50th Anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival in California

The Monterey International Pop Music Festival was a three-day concert event held from June 16 to 18, 1967 in Monterey, California. It is largely remembered for some historic performances by Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Ravi Shankar, and Janis Joplin.

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Today in History: Construction on the Golden Gate Bridge began in 1933

Today in History: Construction on the Golden Gate Bridge began in 1933

For a long time, bridging the San Francisco Bay with its dangerous currents and hurricanes was considered an incalculable risk. After all, a strait over 300 feet deep and more than a mile wide had to be linked. When Bank of America secured the funding for the project, work began on February 5, 1933. At the time, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. In addition, its two Art Deco style pillars were the tallest structures outside of New York. The bridge opened in May 1937. Construction offered many people work during the Great Depression. When hit with a severe earthquake in 1989, the bridge was not damaged.

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