Contrary to popular belief, the Golden Gate Bridge is not named for its nighttime golden appearance. The Golden Gate Bridge is named after the Golden Gate Strait that runs beneath it. This narrow stretch of water below the bridge connects the Pacific Ocean on the west to San Francisco Bay on the east.
As for the strait itself, its name predates the start of the Gold Rush in 1849. In 1846, when explorer and future presidential candidate John C. Fremont saw the strait, it reminded him of another landlocked harbor, The Golden Horn of the Bosporus in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul). Fremont used the Greek word, Chrysopylae, to name it. Chrysopylae translates to Golden Gate in English. In his 1848 “Geographical Memoir,’’ Fremont wrote, “The rugged opening to the Pacific is a golden gate to trade with the Orient,” and this how the Golden Gate Bridge got its name.
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1. The bridge is 1.7 miles (8,981 feet) long and contains roughly 90,000 tons of steel.
2. 19 workers were saved by a safety net below the bridge during its construction.
3. The War Department had to approve the construction of the bridge because it owned the land on both sides of the bridge.
- Lonely Planet – 14 things you didn’t know about the Golden Gate Bridge
- SFTravel.com – WHY GOLDEN GATE? THE HISTORY BEHIND THE NAME
- GoldenGate.org – http://goldengatebridge.org/research/facts.php