FROM THE ARCHIVE: 300,000 people crowd Golden Gate Bridge for 50th anniversary

The California Highway Patrol also says 800,000 people in total may have stepped onto the iconic bridge.

ByPaul Jeschke, Justin Mendoza via KGO logo
Friday, August 27, 2021
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In this edition of "From The Archive," we take a look at when the iconic Golden Gate Bridge turned 50 in 1987.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A marching band, a woman on a pogo stick, "chicken feet" and a barely dressed man. They were among the 300,000 people (an estimate according to the California Highway Patrol) that stood on the Golden Gate Bridge's roadway at the same time during its 50th anniversary celebration on May 24, 1987.

For four hours, individuals from all walks of life were running, skating, biking (and of course, walking) through the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. The CHP says 800,000 people may have stepped onto it.

"We got over there, and it was so packed. So many bicycles. Everyone is having a good time," one woman shared.

"The problem is really pretty simple. These people all want to go north. These people want to go south. And as a result, it's an absolute human impasse mid-span on the Golden Gate Bridge," said retired ABC7 News reporter Paul Jeschke.

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Thousands of people drive through the bridge everyday, especially since things are "back to normal," traffic-wise amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drivers, walkers, runners and bicyclists embark on the view of the San Francisco Bay from the suspension bridge everyday. (And staring at the landmark from the San Francisco and Marin side ain't too shabby, either). The Golden Gate Bridge is visited by thousands of tourists from all over the world every year.

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It's the 1.7 mile long pathway between San Francisco and Marin County.

Joseph B. Strauss was the chief engineer that led the team of people who built the Golden Gate Bridge. Construction began on January 5, 1933 and was completed on April 19, 1937, according to the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District. A month later, the Golden Gate Bridge opened to the public on May 28, 1937. Strauss passed away in 1938.

Strauss' legacy continued to live on five decades later in 1987. And it's still shining gold in 2021.

In this edition of "From The Archive," here is a look back at the Golden Gate Bridge's 50th anniversary celebration in May 1987.

You can watch more stories on the "ABC7 Bay Area" app on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Android TV in the "From The Archive" section.