The history of San Francisco's landmark Golden Gate Bridge as it turns 80
In 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge opened in San Francisco.
— -- The time was May 1937. Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, after winning reelection to a second term. German air ship The Hindenburg had burst into flames over New Jersey, killing 35 people, and the Spanish Civil War was raging across the ocean.
The number one song on the radio was "You Can't Take That Away From Me" by Fred Astaire and the biggest blockbuster movie that year would be Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."
Amidst all that, a huge infrastructure project that promised to be a feat of engineering was finally about to debut after four years of work: The Golden Gate Bridge.
Why the bridge was built
Experts at the time determined that a bridge was needed in San Francisco, since it was the largest American city still using mostly ferry boats.
Marin County across the San Francisco Bay also represented a new area where the bustling city that was running out of space could expand business and housing.