Few structures achieve the status of the Golden Gate Bridge—so recognizable that it needs no introduction. Opened on this day in 1937, the bridge was a marvel of engineering, built to withstand ferocious winds above and swirling currents below. Its construction was embraced by the local population because it would finally connect the rising metropolis of San Francisco to communities in Marin County and all that lay north. Before the bridge was completed, a ferry was the only way across the Golden Gate, the mile-wide strait that connects the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco Bay. Building a bridge to cross the span would be no small feat, and many thought it impossible.