FDR pushed the button to open the San Francisco-Oakland Bridge in 1936

On November 12, 1936 Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected President of the United States. You can see a timeline of his fairly uneventful day at: FDR Library

However, one major event in President Roosevelt’s schedule shows that at   3:30 pm. “In Cabinet Room, pressed button to open San Francisco-Oakland Bridge (CA).”

Photographer Dorothea Lang was in California and took this photograph of some people in town on that important day.Nov. 12, 1936 Dorothea Lange - california


Gov. Frank F. Merriam and President Herbert Hoover were among the dignitaries attending the epic eventpresident herbert hoover opening of bridge

Photographer Clyde Sunderland took the aerial view of San Francisco – Fifth Street Terminus during the Opening Ceremonies on November 12, 1936

bird's eye view


Photographer Charles M. Hiller took these photographs in 1934 of the bridge being built

Hiller 1934 san francisco bridge Clyde Sunderland, Photographer took these photographs May 11, 1934

Below is an aerial view of the floating caisson under construction

Clyde Sunderland, Photographer May 11, 1934 AERIAL VIEW OF FLOATING CAISSON UNDER CONSTRUCTION. -

The film below is a Documentary from 1937 about building the San Francisco to Oakland Bay Bridge, the film was produced in association with US Steel – WDTVLIVE42 Archive footage


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See historical books by Donna R. Causey