Golden Gate Bridge HistoryFor many years before the Golden Gate Bridge was built, the only way to get across San Francisco Bay was by ferry, and by the early twentieth century the Bay was clogged with them. In the 1920s, engineer and bridge-builder Joseph Strauss became convinced that a bridge should be constructed across the Golden Gate.
Many groups opposed him, each for their own selfish reasons: the military, loggers, the railroads. The engineering challenge was also enormous - the Golden Gate Bridge area often has winds of up to 60 miles per hour, and strong ocean currents sweep through a rugged canyon below the surface. If all that weren't enough, it was the middle of the Great Depression, funds were scarce, and the San Francisco Bay Bridge was already under construction. In spite of everything, Strauss persisted, and Golden Gate Bridge history began when San Francisco voters overwhelmingly approved $35 million in bonds to construct the Golden Gate Bridge.