This Day In History: The Brooklyn Bridge opens

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Friday, May 24, 2019
This Day in History: The Brooklyn Bridge opens
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The Brooklyn Bridge opened on May 24, 1883.

It's been called the "Eighth Wonder of the World," and on Friday the Brooklyn Bridge turns 136 years old.

The Brooklyn Bridge opened on May 24, 1883. German engineer John A. Roebling was hired to design the bridge. He was chosen because he was known for perfecting the suspension bridge by adding a web truss on either side for stabilization.

It took 14 years and $15 million (which amounts to more than $320 million in today's dollars) to complete the bridge. When it was finally completed, it was the longest suspension bridge in history at the time.

The opening ceremonies included speeches, bands, cannon fire and fireworks. Attendees included President Chester A. Arthur, New York Governor (and future president) Grover Cleveland, according to An estimated 250,000 people streamed across the bridge in the first 24 hours, marveling at its massive towers and steel cables that still draw tourists today.