May 27, 2012, Sunday marked the 75th anniversary of the opening of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Before 1937, the city's growth was hampered by a reliance on ferry traffic. The 8,981 ft (2,737 m) suspension bridge changed that, creating a link between San Francisco to Marin County. Its construction was completed under budget, but at the cost of 11 workers' lives. Collected here are images from the building of this iconic bridge, as well as scenes from its 75 years of service and from Sunday's celebration.
High-power lights illuminate the Golden Gate Bridge as part of the span's 75th anniversary celebration in San Francisco, on May 27, 2012.
(AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Before the bridge -- Fort Point in the foreground, looking across the Golden gate (the strait connecting San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean), toward Marin County to the north, in 1910.
(National Park Service)
As thousands of people jam the deck of the Golden Gate Bridge during a bridge walk, one person walks across the span 220 feet above the San Francisco Bay, on May 24, 1987. An estimated 350,000 people turned out for the bridge walk, which kicked off the Golden Gate Bridge 50th anniversary celebration.
(AP Photo/Doug Atkins)
California Air National Guard pararescuemen of the 129th Rescue Wing, Moffett Federal Airfield climb up a moving rope ladder, from the chilly waters outside the Golden Gate Bridge, up to a HH-60G Pave Hawk. Tech. Sgt. Mike Sampognaro, flight engineer, monitors the training mission from the troop door. Hovering only six feet above the waves, Lt. Col. Thomas Laut must fly with extreme care as he deals with gusting winds, sea spray, sun glare, and sea swells, as he maintains a "low-and-slow" flight. (Some may recognize this photo as the basis for the Helicopter Shark hoax photograph.)
(Lance Cheung/US Air Force via Getty Images)
A man looks over the railing of the Golden Gate Bridge, on January 27, 2005. A controversial film made by moviemaker Eric Steel documenting people committing suicide off of the Golden Gate Bridge opened a debate about why there isn't a suicide barrier on the famous landmark. In 2005, more than 1,300 people were known to have jumped to their death from the span since it opened in 1937.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A suicide prevention message on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco California, 2006. More people die by suicide at the Golden Gate Bridge than at any other site in the world.
(CC BY SA David Allen Corby)
An exhibit of shoes in remembrance of people who have jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge is displayed during a commemoration of the bridge's 75th anniversary on May 27, 2012, in San Francisco. The Bridge Rail Foundation, which advocates for a safety net along the span to prevent suicides, estimates approximately 1,558 people have died after jumping since the bridge opened. A marine-grade stainless steel net is planned, but progress on the project has been slow, and it remains unfunded.
(AP Photo/Noah Berger)