Ground Breaking Celebration

Construction began on January 5, 1933. This was followed by the official ground breaking ceremony held on February 26, 1933, at nearby Crissy Field (now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area). The start of construction was met with great delight. A celebration at nearby Crissy Field went on for hours with at least 100,000 people in attendance. The San Francisco newspaper wrote the next day, “Two hundred and fifty carrier pigeons, provided by the San Francisco Racing Pigeon Club to carry the message of groundbreaking to every corner of California, were so frightened by the surging human mass that small boys had to crawl into their compartments in the bridge replica to shoo them out with sticks.”

A festive parade through the Marina District began at 12:45 pm. Navy planes flew in formation and engineering students carried an 80-foot-long replica of the Bridge. Governor James Rolph, San Francisco Mayor Angelo Rossi, and Board President William P. Filmer made speeches, and a congratulatory telegram from President Herbert Hoover was read. At 4 pm, Major General Craig gave the right-of-way grants to Filmer, and Rossi and Filmer then turned a golden spade.

To view the Official Ground Breaking Ceremony program, click here.