Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Monday, January 4, 2016

What's 'n a Name?

On January 5, 1933, during the worst depression of the 20th century, construction begins on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. Wait a minute! Take a real close look at this iconic bridge...

  (Credit: Hoberman Collection/UIG via Getty Images)
The Golden Gate Bridge is anything but golden! By definition, it does not even meet the criteria for being a gate, no hinges whereby it can be swung, drawn, or lowered to block an entrance or a passageway. The only part seeming to make sense is the fact it IS a bridge! So why the name and why the specific bright color no where near the color considered golden?


The Golden Gate Strait is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean.  The strait is approximately three-miles long by one-mile wide with currents ranging from 4.5 to 7.5 knots.  It is generally accepted that the strait was named "Chrysopylae", or Golden Gate, by John C. Fremont, Captain, topographical Engineers of the U.S. Army circa 1846. It reminded him of a harbor in Istanbul named Chrysoceras or Golden Horn.

The color chosen for the Golden Gate Bridge is actually International Orange, a shade of terracotta, rather than gold as indicated from its name. Consulting Architect Irving Morrow selected the International Orange color. In Morrow's own words, "As the Bridge stands today, the color blends perfectly with the changing season tints of the spans’ natural setting against the San Francisco skyline and the Marin hills."

San Francisco is often surrounded by fog so judging from the images below it is not too difficult a deduction as why such a unique color also provides additional safety!

 Fog at the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

A view of the Golden Gate Bridge
from the Marin Headlands on a foggy morning at sunrise

Back to the beginning...

(Sorry about the digression but it is always interesting to discover what's 'n a name, especially when the name just doesn't seem to fit.)

As stated in the beginning, it was on January 5, 1933, during the worst depression of the 20th century, when construction begins on the Golden Gate Bridge. This is during a time when Americans can be found standing in breadlines and 1 in 4 are unemployed. Workers from all walks of life - former farmers, clerks, taxicab drivers, cowboys, lumberjacks - become steel-driving men welcoming the work in order to feed families. These are the Men Who Built the Bridge. On this day, excavation is in progress of 3.25 million cubic feet of dirt for the structure’s huge anchorages. This engineering marvel was by no means a spur of the moment venture or overnight undertaking. The concept for the bridge arose as early as 1872 and was not completed until 1937. 

6 Things You May Not Know About the Golden Gate Bridge

Gazing upon the Golden Gate Bridge leaves each viewer awestruck! Stopping to think how the idea of such a phenomenal bridge came into being is almost unimaginable...almost, that is! The light bulb shone brightly on what was to become one of the world's most beautiful bridges, a stunning technological and artistic achievement of unprecedented proportions.

The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco via Reg Saddler

Takes your breath away, doesn't it?