Sac History Happenings

News and developments in Sacramento and California history

May 3, 2012
The California State Library Celebrates the Golden Gate Bridge

For the month of May, the California State Library will celebrate the 75th birthday of San Francisco's fabled Golden Gate Bridge. The library's California History Room has changed its featured display to showcase many fascinating books about the bridge. Particularly noteworthy are the 1938 official report on the bridge's construction, a more recent report on the Doyle Drive approach to the span (timely since that inadequate and dangerous stretch of highway was torn down this past weekend), and a 1921 volume titled Bridging the Golden Gate, showing the ungainly original design for the bridge which fortunately did not come to pass.


And on Wednesday, May 16, the monthly "A Night at the State Library" program will present the 1968 film Bullitt, starring Steve McQueen as a San Francisco police lieutenant and showcasing an almost 11-minute car chase in which the Golden Gate Bridge is visible (permission to actually film part of this chase on the bridge was denied by authorities). A post-film discussion will feature historic photos and archival material on San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge from the State Library's collection. The library is located at 900 N Street in Sacramento. The doors open at 5PM, the presentation starts at 6PM, and light refreshments will be served. If you wish to attend please RSVP to or call 916-215-9280.

GG Bridge Construction.bmp

Speaking of historic images from the State Library, seen here is a photo of a workman high up alongside the cables during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, and another of classic aircraft flying over the bridge, likewise during its construction. I have also included a photo from my own collection taken by Debra Wilensky of San Francisco, early in the morning of May 24, 1987, showing people crowding onto the bridge during its 50th anniversary celebration. I was standing close by as the photo was taken and, believe me, we did not advance a whole lot further than this.GG Bridge 50.jpg

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About Sac History Happenings

California and Sacramento have a long, rich, vibrant history. And our region is blessed with an abundance of historical resources maintained by museums, libraries, archives and societies. This blog aims to alert readers to the latest developments in local/state historical education and research.

Send tips concerning upcoming exhibits, tours, lectures and meetings, as well as new books, magazine articles and online collections to the blog's contributors.

The Contributors:

Michael Dolgushkin

Michael Dolgushkin is Manuscript Librarian at the California State Library History Section. He is co-author of San Francisco's California Street Cable Cars and is a frequent contributor to the California State Library Foundation Bulletin. Contact him at

Amanda Graham

Amanda Graham is a Certified Archivist working in the Sacramento Room of the Sacramento Public Library. She earned a BS in History from Southern Oregon University and a MS in Information Studies with an emphasis in archives from The University of Texas at Austin. Contact her at

Pete basofin

Pete Basofin is Director of Editorial Research at The Sacramento Bee. He previously worked at The St. Petersburg Times and Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune. Contact him at

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