California Safari | They Realized An Impossible Dream
California Safari is a travel adventure that helps students with an interest in understanding American business principles, economic ideas, and values and practices of innovators with a historical and comparative perspective.
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They Realized An Impossible Dream

They Realized An Impossible Dream

The building of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge was an Impossible Dream and that dream celebrated its 75th anniversary with fireworks.

The world’s most photographed, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the seven civil engineering wonders of the United States. How did it get built?

For over one hundred years, they wanted to build this bridge and it was in the middle of the Great Depression that construction began in 1933. But the work really began in 1919 when city engineer Michael O’Shaughnessy began looking for a way to build it at a reasonable cost. The state of California got involved in 1923 when they passed the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District Act for the purpose of planning, designing and financing construction.

Fierce Resistance called it Impossible

Don’t build the bridge. Why? On the grounds of natural beauty – the bridge would reduce the panorama of the San Francisco Bay. Shipping would be slowed down. And earthquakes could bring down the bridge – like the 1906 disaster which almost burned down the entire city. Community leaders and industry joined forces to rule out the bridge building before it could begin.

Overcoming the Odds, the Team Pushed Through

The construction project was immense: They had to move 3.25 million cubic feet of dirt to establish the bridge’s 12-story-tall anchorages – which were to be set where there was then a raging ocean surging through the channel. Brave divers went down 90 feet through strong currents to blast rock and take out the debris.

During the Great Depression, there was no shortage of workers for the steady jobs even when such dangers were involved. The suspension cables were a big success with 25,000 individual wires tied onsite into two 7,650-foot cables in six months, half the scheduled time.

The Golden Gate Bridge, Inspiration for Startups Everywhere

The lessons of the Golden Gate live on – taken to heart by every startup entrepreneur, every innovator, every person with a dream who works to make their dream come true.

Yes, it is impossible.
Yes, there will be fierce resistance.
Yes, it will take teamwork.
Yes, we will celebrate in the end when we succeed.

Some communities are better places for risk takers. Silicon Valley and Hollywood are not easy places to live or work. But the greatest wealth in human history has been created in California in the past few decades. You owe it to yourself to see what lies behind realizing such impossible dreams.

We at California Safari believe more young leaders should have the opportunity to understand what it takes to realize Impossible Dreams.

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