The Golden Gate Bridge is 75 years old. (Photo credit: Flickr/Creative Commons/Salim Virji)
The Golden Gate Bridge, that iconic structure and California landmark, turned 75 on Sunday.
The bridge was opened for business on May 27, 1937, providing an easier route between the city of San Francisco and Marin County -- and across the Golden Gate, a term for the strait where the San Francisco Bay meets the Pacific Ocean.
The bridge has been hailed for its design, noted for its orange-red color (known as International Orange, which is also used in the space industry), and featured in just about every movie with a San Francisco story line.
But there's also a dark side to the bridge: It's the top suicide site in the world, and there is an ongoing debate about installing some sort of barrier to prevent these suicides, especially since 37 people died this way last year, when 100 more suicides were prevented, according to a Los Angeles Times report. The bridge already has suicide hotline phones and signs that are meant to deter people from jumping.
A daylong Golden Gate Festival on Sunday is free and open to the public. Festival-goers are encouraged to use public transportation, bike, or walk to the event, as there will be no public parking in certain areas. People traveling through the area should note the bridge will be closed for one hour -- from 9 to 10 p.m. PDT (from midnight to 1 a.m. EDT) -- due to a half-hour fireworks display that will begin at 9:30 p.m. PDT (12:30 a.m. EDT).
Sunday's celebrations also include a watercraft parade and music at the Marina Green Stage and the Crissy Field Stage.
For more information on Golden Gate festivities, visit GoldenGateBridge75.org.