Chronology of Fun and Interesting Happenings
at the Golden Gate Bridge

September 5, 2014: Two black-tailed deer made their way across the Golden Gate Bridge during the evening commute. Traffic stopped in both directions while the deer made their way from San Francisco to Marin County. Watch a video of their safe crossing HERE.

April 2012: NBC Bay Area Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary float at the Petaluma Butter and Egg Days Parade.

August 4, 2011: For a BlogHer conference in San Diego, CA, the Hersey Company, as a sponsor of the conference, Twizzler-ized the Golden Gate Bridge along with New York’s Statue of Liberty and Seattle’s Space Needle.

June 22, 2011: More than 100 race fans joined NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer (No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet) for a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.

October 21, 2011: A group of people did jumping jacks trying to set a Guinness World Record for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period as part of First Lady Michelle Obama's physical fitness campaign. The group was joined by Jennee LaLanne and Chris LaLanne who pointed out that the Jumping Jack was named after their grand uncle Jack LaLanne.


January 20, 2010: Travel + Leisure Magazine names the Golden Gate Bridge as one of the World’s Ten Most Amazing Views.


January 22, 2010: It snowed lightly at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge at about 6:30 am.


January 27, 2010: At 6:45 am, the Queen Victoria was greeted by the Golden Gate Bridge foghorns. The Queen Victoria, Cunard's newest luxury liner and the company's second largest, was making her Maiden Call to San Francisco during her current world voyage.


February 17, 2010: Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray crossed the Golden Gate Bridge in a cable car during his victory tour of San Francisco.

March 16, 2010: Three massive cranes aboard the Zhen Hua 15 which came from Shanghai, China en route to the Port of Oakland, passed under the Golden Gate Bridge just after 8:30 am. The crew spent the past weekend in Drakes Bay lowering the structural apexes of the cranes as they are 253 feet high at full height and the midspan clearance of the Golden Gate Bridge is 220 ft.

April 2010: The Harlem Globetrotters walked across the Bridge after a bit of showing off for the crowd at Vista Point.


February 16, 2009: While enduring a torrential downpour, Amgen Tour of California peloton headed south towards Santa Cruz via the GGB roadway at 8:40 am. Lance Armstrong was among the top world class racers cheered on by the very hearty and wet spectators on-hand to witness this first-ever milestone.


March 11, 2009: The largest crane barge on the west coast passes under the Golden Gate Bridge. The crane, nicknamed the "The Left Coast Lifter,'' is fixed to a barge that measures 400 feet by 100 feet. The crane’s boom is 328 feet long, weighs 992 tons, and is capable of lifting 1,873 tons of materials. The crane will be used in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Seismic Safety Project and will place all of the self-anchored suspension bridge deck sections and the lower portions of the new span's tower, projected to stand 525 feet tall.


May 3, 2009: At about 6:20 pm, the CHP stopped a horseback rider who was crossing the Golden Gate Bridge sidewalk. Horses are not allowed to cross the Bridge sidewalks due to safety considerations.

May 13, 2008: One of the Golden Gate Bridge paint crew’s appeared in a Good Morning America segment airing at 4 am California time.


April 7, 2008: Three pro-Tibet protesters climbed the Golden Gate Bridge vertical suspension cables at a location near the south tower at about 10:30 am and unfurled two banners intended to draw attention to Chinese human rights violations in Tibet. The protest by Students for a Free Tibet came the day before the Olympic Torch was set to arrive in San Francisco for its only North American stop before this summer's games in Beijing. One banner read, "One World, One Dream, Free Tibet 08," a play on the official slogan of the Olympic Games, "One World, One Dream." The other read simply, "Free Tibet." The protesters also hung two Tibetan flags.


August 10, 2008:
At 2:44 pm, a dazed pelican that was not able to fly was safely recovered from the Bridge roadway. She was transferred to the International Bird Rescue Research Center, Cordelia, CA where she was named “G.G.” by her caretakers.

September 12, 2008: The very same GGB workers who had recovered GG released her back to the wild.

January 1, 2007: CHP took 10 war protesters with into custody at the Golden Gate Bridge after a three-hour standoff that backed up traffic. The confrontation began at noon when members of the women's peace organization CodePink prepared to walk across the bridge as a vigil to remember the 3,000 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.

February 4, 2007: The Queen Mary 2 made maritime history when she makes her maiden call to San Francisco. Thousands of maritime enthusiasts and well-wishers gathered on and all around the Bridge to view the ship as she sailed beneath the Golden Gate Bridge.

July 11, 2007: Durham, NC elementary school custodian Joe Venable’s life-long dream came true when he visited the Bridge. His 5th grade students raised $2000 to send him and his wife to San Francisco. San Francisco Mayor proclaimed July 13, 2007, as Joe Venable Day.

November 27, 2007: John Beatty’s quick thinking prevented a potentially serious crash on the Bridge when he used his pickup truck to guide a SUV, in which the driver had gone unconscious, away from oncoming traffic. On Dec. 7, 2007, he was presented with a certificate of appreciation from CHP

August 29, 2005: A female 6-foot-tall ostrich busted its way out of a cargo van at about 4:45 pm, stopping the evening commute traffic in both directions and sending dozens of tourists racing for their cameras.

June 14, 2005: A third and final shipment of massive cranes, standing at a maximum height of 227.7 feet above waterline, bound for the Port of Oakland from China, pass under the Golden Gate Bridge with an estimated clearance of about 9 to 10 feet.

May 19, 2004: A young deer bounding onto the Golden Gate Bridge and loped across the entire span as Bridge officials and motorists watched in amazement. The deer zipped through a FasTrak lane, took the 19th Avenue exit and then disappeared into the Presidio.

May 1, 2002: The second of three shipments of massive cranes, at a maximum height of 227.7 feet above waterline, bound for the Port of Oakland from China, passes under the Golden Gate Bridge with an estimated clearance of about 12 feet.


May 26, 2002: An anti-war protest, organized by the All People's Coalition, on the Golden Gate Bridge led to the arrest of 30 demonstrators, causing a traffic backup several miles long.


February 5, 2001: In the wee hours of the morning, students from University of British Columbia School of Engineering claimed credit for dangling a VW bug off the side of the Golden Gate Bridge, per their past tradition of hanging something large from a known structure. The so-called prank tied up traffic for several hours that morning.


October 24, 2000: The first of three shipments of massive cranes with a maximum height of 223.75 feet above the waterline bound for the Port of Oakland from China passes under the Golden Gate Bridge with an estimated clearance of about 8 feet.


September 3, 1998: United States Postal Service unveils Golden Gate Bridge commemorative stamp.

May 1, 1997: As part of the public outreach efforts to raise awareness about the Bridge’s 45 mph speed limit, 15 NASCAR Winston Cup race cars crossed the Bridge with “taxi-top” signs reading “I Can Drive 45 on the Golden Gate Bridge."


August 11, 1997: CHP began using LIDAR technology for speed enforcement on the Bridge.


November 23, 1996: Actor Woody Harrelson and eight other demonstrators were arrested for climbing onto the Golden Gate Bridge main cable and south tower with a banner protesting the logging of ancient redwoods in Humboldt County. The protest tied up traffic for hours.


March 4, 1993: Shortly after midnight, 5 young men intending to bungee jump at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge were stopped by Bridge security forces and turned over to Marin County Sheriff’s Department, who made the arrest for trespassing.


December 31, 1993: The third baby BOY (that we know about anyway) was born at about 10:50 pm in the admin parking lot directly adjacent to the toll plaza.


September 29, 1991: The second baby BOY (that we know about anyway) was born at about 6:20 am just before entering into toll lane #1 in the toll plaza.


September 18, 1987: During his 1987 spiritual outreach tour of several U.S. cities, Pope John Paul II made a stop at a Golden Gate Bridge vista point in San Francisco. His entourage included San Francisco's then-Archbishop John Quinn. After the bridge stop, John Paul rode in the popemobile in a motorcade down Geary Boulevard.


February 22, 1985: One billionth car crosses the Golden Gate Bridge.


September 29, 1984: The District Board of Directors decides to allow a British production company to film a scene of a new James Bond movie on one of the Golden Gate Bridge main cables, at a height of more than 700 feet above water. The film, "A View to a Kill," features Roger Moore as Bond. One of the more spectacular scenes is a fight between Bond and a villain on the north tower of the Bridge with the loser of the fight falling to his death from the main cable. To capture this scene, the producers hoped to talk the Board into letting them drop a dummy from the north tower to the roadway; this portion of filming was denied. "With all the problems we have with suicides on this Bridge, I think this is a bum idea," said Director Quentin Kopp of San Francisco.


February 5, 1976: It snowed up to two inches on San Francisco streets with a in dusting the Marin Headlands, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. See photo for the snow here: http://blog.pictopia.com/blog/2011/02/23/featured-photo-snow-in-the-san-francisco-bay-area/


February 26, 1976: The Golden Gate Bridge appears on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine as the backdrop with five prominent San Francisco based rockers of the day, with a title above the photo that reads, "What a Long Strange Trip It's Been."


1967: San Francisco topless star Yvonne D’Angers, dubbed the Persian Lamb, chained herself to the Golden Gate Bridge to protest her long-threatened deportation to Iran.


1961: Clem Mathis, brother of San Francisco’ very own crooner Johnny Mathis, was hired as a Golden Gate Bridge toll collector.


May 8, 1959: According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District had agreed to cooperate in the make-believe destruction of San Francisco for Stanley Kramer's movie "On the Beach” but the climax - a monumental traffic jam - in the early morning rush hour wasn't in the script. According to plans, the 15-person movie crew made its way onto the west sidewalk at 5 a.m. Cameras were to roll at sunrise (6:10 am), filming a submarine passing underneath the Bridge. But the sunlight could not pierce the morning fog. Navy men, with the film crew, contacted the submarine's captain and asked him to cruise around until the fog lifted. Soon it was 7 a.m. and the Marin County commuters were on their way to work. By 9 a.m., three lanes of traffic were jammed up a mile back.


August 26, 1958: The FIRST baby BOY (that we know about anyway) was born on the bridge (see 1991 and 1993 for the next two boys born). We do not have further details on this birth.


1954: At age 40, one of the founding fathers of fitness, Jack LaLanne, proved his belief that “anything in life is possible if you apply yourself” by captivating the entire world when he swam the length of the Golden Gate Strait (approx 1.7 miles) with 140 pounds of equipment strapped to his body. A year later, he swam from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco while handcuffed.

July 16, 1945: The USS Indianapolis sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge with a top secret cargo heading to Hawaii for refueling, then to Tinian island where it unloaded its cargo, the uranium and major components of the atomic bomb to be dropped on Hiroshima by the Enola Gay on August 6.

April 2, 1942: Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle and his 80 Raiders steamed under the Golden Gate Bridge aboard the USS Hornet with 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers tethered to the aircraft carrier’s deck. The Hornet departed from Alameda at 10 am, cleared the Bridge shortly after noon, and gave the armed forces their last view of the continental United States. The Doolittle Raid on April 18, 1942, was the first strategic bombing by the U.S. to strike the Japanese archipelago during WWII. By demonstrating that Japan itself was vulnerable to American air attack, it provided a vital moral boost and opportunity for U.S. retaliation after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The raid was planned and led by Doolittle who would later recount in his autobiography that the raid was intended to bolster American morale and to cause the Japanese to begin doubting their leadership.


1938: Blackie, a swaybacked, 12-year-old horse swam across the waters of the Golden Gate Strait. The horse not only made aquatic history, but he soundly defeated two human challengers from the Olympic Club, and won a $1000 bet for his trainer Shorty Roberts. Blackie made the swim in 23 minutes, 15 seconds. Shorty couldn't swim, but he made the trip, too - and this was part of the bet - by hanging onto Blackie's tail. A rowboat led the way, with Shorty's brother offering a handful of sugar cubes from the stern to keep the sweets-lovin' horse on track. Watch a short film made of the adventure (http://www.outsidelands.org/blackiemovie.php) about Blackie’s famous swim!

1936: Pan American Clipper aircraft fly over the Golden Gate Bridge when the roadway was under construction.