Thursday, May 24, 2012

Golden Gate Bridge: 75th Anniversary in Chocolate

The Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco icon, turns 75 this weekend.

The bridge opening celebration began on May 27, 1937 and lasted for one week. The day before vehicle traffic was allowed, 200,000 people crossed by foot and roller skate. On opening day, Mayor Angelo Rossi and other officials rode the ferry to Marin, then crossed the bridge in a motorcade past three ceremonial "barriers", the last a blockade of beauty queens who required Joseph Strauss to present the bridge to the Highway District before allowing him to pass.

An official song, "There's a Silver Moon on the Golden Gate", was chosen to commemorate the event. Strauss wrote a poem that is now on the Golden Gate Bridge entitled "The Mighty Task is Done." The next day, President Roosevelt pushed a button in Washington, D.C. signaling the official start of vehicle traffic over the Bridge at noon. When the celebration got out of hand, the SFPD had a small riot in the uptown Polk Gulch area. Weeks of civil and cultural activities called "the Fiesta" followed. See the footage of the opening in the video below.

In May 1987, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration, the Golden Gate Bridge district again closed the bridge to automobile traffic and allowed pedestrians to cross the bridge. However, this celebration attracted 750,000 to 1,000,000 people, and ineffective crowd control meant the bridge became congested with roughly 300,000 people, causing the center span of the bridge to drop almost 7 feet and flatten out under the weight.

Although the bridge is designed to flex in that way under heavy loads, and was estimated not to have exceeded 40% of the yielding stress of the suspension cables. The 75th anniversary celebration will be held this Sunday, May 27, 2012. As a safety measure, the Bridge will not be open to pedestrian traffic during the celebration.  However, you can do a Virtual Bridge Walk here.

Interested in Celebrating? Here's a link to all the activities planned for the weekend for the 75th Anniversary.  Sunday, May 27, from the Waterfront to Fort Point to Pier 39.

iPhone/iPad App: GoGGBridge. Fun facts, historic slideshows, games and recordings of Bridge Workers telling astounding stories from the 1930s.

Like Mystery Fiction? Check out the Golden Gate Bridge on Mystery Covers from its opening until now.

Of course, you'll want to celebrate this icon in Chocolate.

Ghirardelli Chocolate, another San Francisco icon, has a Solid Milk Chocolate Golden Gate Bridge.

As part of the Golden Gate Bridge celebration, Ghirardelli Chocolate is also having A Tribute to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Visit Ghirardelli Square for a special exhibit in celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary. For two days only, take a self guided historical walking tour exploring the history of the Golden Gate Bridge!

Also on exhibit will be a four foot long Golden Gate Bridge carved from Ghirardelli Chocolate!

On Saturday, the first 750 participants will receive a FREE solid Ghirardelli Chocolate Golden Gate Bridge.  All participants must check-in at the arched lighted sign at Larkin St.

Bridge Brands has a great San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge Milk Chocolate Souvenir Tin.

Their signature tin features the image of a single stately Golden Gate Bridge tower, and contains 3.5 oz. of their milk chocolate drops. Also comes with Dark Chocolate Drops. The tin is really beautiful. Image created by artist Michael Schwab.

Are you making anything in chocolate to celebrate the Golden Gate Bridge? Comment below or send photos!

Here's some great footage from the Opening of the Golden Gate Bridge.


Baking Addict said...

wow how cool! I was in SF earlier this year - wish I can go back! I had a great ime :)

Janet Rudolph said...

Baking Addict, love to meet when you return to SF.. so many great chocolate locations, bakeries, trucks and other fab food places!

Anonymous said...

Yay! Going to get a piece of chocolate to celebrate now.