Brooklyn Bridge
Overview
 
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridge
Suspension bridge
A suspension bridge is a type of bridge in which the deck is hung below suspension cables on vertical suspenders. Outside Tibet and Bhutan, where the first examples of this type of bridge were built in the 15th century, this type of bridge dates from the early 19th century...

s in the United States. Completed in 1883, it connects the New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 boroughs
Borough (New York City)
New York City, one of the largest cities in the world, is composed of five boroughs. Each borough now has the same boundaries as the county it is in. County governments were dissolved when the city consolidated in 1898, along with all city, town, and village governments within each county...

 of Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 and Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

 by spanning the East River
East River
The East River is a tidal strait in New York City. It connects Upper New York Bay on its south end to Long Island Sound on its north end. It separates Long Island from the island of Manhattan and the Bronx on the North American mainland...

. With a main span of 1595.5 feet (486.3 m), it was the longest suspension bridge in the world from its opening until 1903, and the first steel-wire suspension bridge.

Originally referred to as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge and as the East River Bridge, it was dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge, a name from an earlier January 25, 1867 letter to the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and formally so named by the city government in 1915.
Encyclopedia
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridge
Suspension bridge
A suspension bridge is a type of bridge in which the deck is hung below suspension cables on vertical suspenders. Outside Tibet and Bhutan, where the first examples of this type of bridge were built in the 15th century, this type of bridge dates from the early 19th century...

s in the United States. Completed in 1883, it connects the New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 boroughs
Borough (New York City)
New York City, one of the largest cities in the world, is composed of five boroughs. Each borough now has the same boundaries as the county it is in. County governments were dissolved when the city consolidated in 1898, along with all city, town, and village governments within each county...

 of Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 and Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

 by spanning the East River
East River
The East River is a tidal strait in New York City. It connects Upper New York Bay on its south end to Long Island Sound on its north end. It separates Long Island from the island of Manhattan and the Bronx on the North American mainland...

. With a main span of 1595.5 feet (486.3 m), it was the longest suspension bridge in the world from its opening until 1903, and the first steel-wire suspension bridge.

Originally referred to as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge and as the East River Bridge, it was dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge, a name from an earlier January 25, 1867 letter to the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and formally so named by the city government in 1915. Since its opening, it has become an icon of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, and was designated a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

 in 1964 and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1972.

Construction

The Brooklyn Bridge was initially designed by German immigrant John Augustus Roebling, who had previously designed and constructed shorter suspension bridges, such as Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct
Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct
-External links:...

 in Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania, Waco Suspension Bridge
Waco Suspension Bridge
The Waco Suspension Bridge crosses the Brazos River in Waco, Texas. It is a single-span suspension bridge with a main span of 475 feet . Opened in 1869, it contains nearly 3 million bricks. It is located north of Downtown Waco, connecting Indian Springs Park with Doris D. Miller Park...

 in Waco, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, and the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge
John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge
The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge spans the Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky. When the first pedestrians crossed on December 1, 1866, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world at 1,057 feet main span. Today, many pedestrians use the bridge to get between...

 in Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio. Cincinnati is the county seat of Hamilton County. Settled in 1788, the city is located to north of the Ohio River at the Ohio-Kentucky border, near Indiana. The population within city limits is 296,943 according to the 2010 census, making it Ohio's...

.
While conducting surveys for the bridge project, Roebling sustained a crush injury to his foot when a ferry pinned it against a piling. After amputation of his crushed toes he developed a tetanus
Tetanus
Tetanus is a medical condition characterized by a prolonged contraction of skeletal muscle fibers. The primary symptoms are caused by tetanospasmin, a neurotoxin produced by the Gram-positive, rod-shaped, obligate anaerobic bacterium Clostridium tetani...

 infection which left him incapacitated and soon resulted in his death, not long after he had placed his 32-year-old son Washington Roebling
Washington Roebling
Washington Augustus Roebling was an American civil engineer best known for his work on the Brooklyn Bridge, which was initially designed by his father John A. Roebling.-Education and military service:...

 in charge of the project.

Washington Roebling also suffered a paralyzing injury as a result of decompression sickness
Decompression sickness
Decompression sickness describes a condition arising from dissolved gases coming out of solution into bubbles inside the body on depressurization...

 shortly after the beginning of construction on January 3, 1870. This condition, first called "caisson
Caisson (engineering)
In geotechnical engineering, a caisson is a retaining, watertight structure used, for example, to work on the foundations of a bridge pier, for the construction of a concrete dam, or for the repair of ships. These are constructed such that the water can be pumped out, keeping the working...

 disease" by the project physician Andrew Smith, afflicted many of the workers working within the caissons. After Roebling's debilitating condition left him unable to physically supervise the construction firsthand, his wife Emily Warren Roebling
Emily Warren Roebling
Emily Warren Roebling was married to Washington Roebling, a civil engineer who was Chief Engineer during the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge...

 stepped in and provided the critical written link between her husband and the engineers on site. Under her husband's guidance, Emily had studied higher mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, the calculations of catenary
Catenary
In physics and geometry, the catenary is the curve that an idealised hanging chain or cable assumes when supported at its ends and acted on only by its own weight. The curve is the graph of the hyperbolic cosine function, and has a U-like shape, superficially similar in appearance to a parabola...

 curves, the strengths of materials, bridge specifications, and the intricacies of cable construction. She spent the next 11 years assisting Washington Roebling helping to supervise the bridge's construction.

When iron probes underneath the caisson found the bedrock
Bedrock
In stratigraphy, bedrock is the native consolidated rock underlying the surface of a terrestrial planet, usually the Earth. Above the bedrock is usually an area of broken and weathered unconsolidated rock in the basal subsoil...

 to be even deeper than expected, Roebling halted construction due to the increased risk of decompression sickness. He later deemed the aggregate
Subsoil
Subsoil, or substrata, is the layer of soil under the topsoil on the surface of the ground. The subsoil may include substances such as clay and/or sand that has only been partially broken down by air, sunlight, water, wind etc., to produce true soil...

 overlying the bedrock 30 feet (9 m) below it to be firm enough to support the tower base, and construction continued.

The Brooklyn Bridge was completed thirteen years later and was opened for use on May 24, 1883. The opening ceremony was attended by several thousand people and many ships were present in the East Bay for the occasion. President Chester A. Arthur
Chester A. Arthur
Chester Alan Arthur was the 21st President of the United States . Becoming President after the assassination of President James A. Garfield, Arthur struggled to overcome suspicions of his beginnings as a politician from the New York City Republican machine, succeeding at that task by embracing...

 and New York Mayor
Mayor of New York City
The Mayor of the City of New York is head of the executive branch of New York City's government. The mayor's office administers all city services, public property, police and fire protection, most public agencies, and enforces all city and state laws within New York City.The budget overseen by the...

 Franklin Edson
Franklin Edson
Franklin Edson was the Mayor of New York from 1883 to 1884.Edson was a grain commission merchant, first in Albany, and then in New York City. He became a business leader and the president of the New York Produce Exchange...

 crossed the bridge to celebratory cannon fire and were greeted by Brooklyn Mayor Seth Low
Seth Low
Seth Low , born in Brooklyn, New York, was an American educator and political figure who served as mayor of Brooklyn, as President of Columbia University, as diplomatic representative of the United States, and as Mayor of New York City...

 when they reached the Brooklyn-side tower. Arthur shook hands with Washington Roebling at the latter's home, after the ceremony. Roebling was unable to attend the ceremony (and in fact rarely visited the site again), but held a celebratory banquet at his house on the day of the bridge opening. Further festivity included the performance of a band, gunfire from ships, and a fireworks display.

On that first day, a total of 1,800 vehicles and 150,300 people crossed what was then the only land passage between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Emily Warren Roebling was the first to cross the bridge. The bridge's main span over the East River is 1,595 feet 6 inches (. The bridge cost to build and approximately 27 people died during its construction.

One week after the opening, on May 30, 1883, a rumor that the Bridge was going to collapse caused a stampede, which crushed and killed at least twelve people. On May 17, 1884, P. T. Barnum helped to squelch doubts about the bridge's stability—while publicizing his famous circus—when one of his most famous attractions, Jumbo
Jumbo
Jumbo was a large African Bush Elephant, born 1861 in the French Sudan – present-day Mali – imported to a Paris zoo, transferred to the London Zoo in 1865, and sold in 1882 to P. T...

, led a parade of 21 elephants over the Brooklyn Bridge.
At the time it opened, and for several years, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world—50% longer than any previously built — and it has become a treasured landmark. Since the 1980s, it has been floodlit at night to highlight its architectural features. The towers are built of limestone, granite, and Rosendale cement
Rosendale cement
Rosendale cement refers to a type of natural cement produced in and around Rosendale, New York from argilaceous limestone. The fast-setting Rosendale natural cement mortars proved to be more efficient than the traditional mortars based on lime and sand...

. Their architectural style is neo-Gothic, with characteristic pointed arches above the passageways through the stone towers. The paint scheme of the bridge is "Brooklyn Bridge Tan" and "Silver", although it has been argued that the original paint was "Rawlins
Rawlins, Wyoming
Rawlins is a city in Carbon County, Wyoming, United States. The population was 8,538 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Carbon County...

 Red".

At the time the bridge was built, the aerodynamics
Aerodynamics
Aerodynamics is a branch of dynamics concerned with studying the motion of air, particularly when it interacts with a moving object. Aerodynamics is a subfield of fluid dynamics and gas dynamics, with much theory shared between them. Aerodynamics is often used synonymously with gas dynamics, with...

 of bridge building had not been worked out. Bridges were not tested in wind tunnel
Wind tunnel
A wind tunnel is a research tool used in aerodynamic research to study the effects of air moving past solid objects.-Theory of operation:Wind tunnels were first proposed as a means of studying vehicles in free flight...

s until the 1950s—well after the collapse of the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge
Tacoma Narrows Bridge (1940)
The 1940 Tacoma Narrows Bridge was the first incarnation of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, a suspension bridge in the U.S. state of Washington that spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed...

 (Galloping Gertie) in 1940. It is therefore fortunate that the open truss structure supporting the deck is by its nature less subject to aerodynamic problems. Roebling designed a bridge and truss system that was six times as strong as he thought it needed to be. Because of this, the Brooklyn Bridge is still standing when many of the bridges built around the same time have vanished into history and been replaced. This is also in spite of the substitution of inferior quality wire in the cabling supplied by the contractor J. Lloyd Haigh—by the time it was discovered, it was too late to replace the cabling that had already been constructed. Roebling determined that the poorer wire would leave the bridge four rather than six times as strong as necessary, so it was eventually allowed to stand, with the addition of 250 cables. Diagonal cables were installed from the towers to the deck, intended to stiffen the bridge. They turned out to be unnecessary, but were kept for their distinctive beauty.

After the collapse in 2007 of the I-35W highway bridge in the city of Minneapolis, increased public attention has been brought to bear on the condition of bridges across the US, and it has been reported that the Brooklyn Bridge approach ramps received a rating of "poor" at its last inspection. According to a NYC Department of Transportation spokesman, "The poor rating it received does not mean it is unsafe. Poor means there are some components that have to be rehabilitated." A project to replace the approaches and repaint the bridge was scheduled to begin in 2009.

The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge is detailed in the 1978 book The Great Bridge by David McCullough
David McCullough
David Gaub McCullough is an American author, narrator, historian, and lecturer. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian award....

 and Brooklyn Bridge (1981), the first PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

 documentary film ever made by Ken Burns
Ken Burns
Kenneth Lauren "Ken" Burns is an American director and producer of documentary films, known for his style of using archival footage and photographs...

. Burns drew heavily on McCullough's book for the film and used him as narrator. It is also described in Seven Wonders of the Industrial World
Seven Wonders of the Industrial World
Seven Wonders of the Industrial World is a 7-part British documentary/docudrama television miniseries that originally aired from to on BBC...

, a BBC docudrama series with accompanying book.

Pedestrian and vehicular access

At various times, the bridge has carried horse-drawn and trolley traffic; at present, it has six lanes for motor vehicles, with a separate walkway along the centerline for pedestrian
Pedestrian
A pedestrian is a person traveling on foot, whether walking or running. In some communities, those traveling using roller skates or skateboards are also considered to be pedestrians. In modern times, the term mostly refers to someone walking on a road or footpath, but this was not the case...

s and bicycle
Bicycle
A bicycle, also known as a bike, pushbike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A person who rides a bicycle is called a cyclist, or bicyclist....

s. Due to the roadway's height (11 ft (3.4 m) posted) and weight (6000 lb (2,721.6 kg) posted) restrictions, commercial vehicles and buses are prohibited from using this bridge. The two inside traffic lanes once carried elevated trains
Elevated railway
An elevated railway is a form of rapid transit railway with the tracks built above street level on some form of viaduct or other steel or concrete structure. The railway concerned may be constructed according to the standard gauge, narrow gauge, light rail, monorail or suspension railway system...

 of the BMT from Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

 points to a terminal at Park Row
Park Row (BMT station)
Park Row was a major elevated railway terminal constructed over the New York end of the Brooklyn Bridge, across from New York City Hall in Manhattan that served as the terminal for BMT services operating over the Brooklyn Bridge from the BMT Fulton Street Line, BMT Myrtle Avenue Line and their...

 via Sands Street
Sands Street (BMT station)
Sands Street was a station on the demolished BMT Myrtle Avenue Line. It was a large complex with 2 levels. The upper level served trains going to Park Row. It had 4 tracks and 2 island platforms with the outside of the platforms serving streetcars. The lower level had a terminal and a loop for...

. Streetcars ran on what are now the two center lanes (shared with other traffic) until the elevated lines stopped using the bridge in 1944, when they moved to the protected center tracks. In 1950 the streetcars also stopped running, and the bridge was rebuilt to carry six lanes of automobile traffic.
The Brooklyn Bridge is accessible from the Brooklyn entrances of Tillary/Adams Streets, Sands/Pearl Streets, and Exit 28B of the eastbound Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. In Manhattan, motor cars can enter from either direction of the FDR Drive, Park Row
Park Row (Manhattan)
Park Row is a street located in the Financial District of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It was previously called Chatham Street and during the late 19th century it was nicknamed Newspaper Row, as most of New York City's newspapers located on the street to be close to the action at New...

, Chambers/Centre Streets, and Pearl/Frankfort Streets. Pedestrian access to the bridge from the Brooklyn side is from either Tillary/Adams Streets (in between the auto entrance/exit), or a staircase on Prospect St between Cadman Plaza East and West. In Manhattan, the pedestrian walkway is accessible from the end of Centre Street, or through the unpaid south staircase of Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall IRT
Interborough Rapid Transit Company
The Interborough Rapid Transit Company was the private operator of the original underground New York City Subway line that opened in 1904, as well as earlier elevated railways and additional rapid transit lines in New York City. The IRT was purchased by the City in June 1940...

 subway station.
The Brooklyn Bridge has a wide pedestrian walkway open to walkers and cyclists, in the center of the bridge and higher than the automobile lanes. While the bridge has always permitted the passage of pedestrians across its span, its role in allowing thousands to cross takes on a special importance in times of difficulty when usual means of crossing the East River have become unavailable.

During transit strikes
Strike action
Strike action, also called labour strike, on strike, greve , or simply strike, is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances. Strikes became important during the industrial revolution, when mass labour became...

 by the Transport Workers Union
Transport Workers Union of America
Transport Workers Union of America is a United States labor union that was founded in 1934 by subway workers in New York City, then expanded to represent transit employees in other cities, primarily in the eastern U.S. This article discusses the parent union and its largest local, Local 100,...

 in 1980
1980 New York City transit strike
The 1980 New York City transit strike in New York City was the first work stoppage at the New York City Transit Authority since 1966. 34,000 members of Transport Workers Union Local 100 walked off their jobs on April 1, 1980, in a strike with the goal of increasing the wage for contracted workers...

 and 2005
2005 New York City transit strike
The 2005 New York City transit strike was a strike in New York City called by the Transport Workers Union Local 100 . Negotiations for a new contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority broke down over retirement, pension, and wage increases. The strike began at 3:00 a.m. EST on...

, the bridge was used by people commuting to work, with Mayors Koch
Ed Koch
Edward Irving "Ed" Koch is an American lawyer, politician, and political commentator. He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1969 to 1977 and three terms as mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989...

 and Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg
Michael Rubens Bloomberg is the current Mayor of New York City. With a net worth of $19.5 billion in 2011, he is also the 12th-richest person in the United States...

 crossing the bridge as a gesture to the affected public.

Following the 1965
Northeast Blackout of 1965
The Northeast blackout of 1965 was a significant disruption in the supply of electricity on November 9, 1965, affecting Ontario, Canada and Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, and New Jersey in the United States...

, 1977
New York City blackout of 1977
The New York City blackout of 1977 was an electricity blackout affected most of New York City from July 13, 1977 to July 14, 1977. The only neighborhoods in New York City that were not affected were in southern Queens, and neighborhoods of the Rockaways, which are part of the Long Island Lighting...

 and 2003 blackouts
Power outage
A power outage is a short- or long-term loss of the electric power to an area.There are many causes of power failures in an electricity network...

 and most famously after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

, the bridge was used by people in Manhattan to leave the city after subway service was suspended. The massive numbers of people on the bridge could not have been anticipated by the original designer, yet John Roebling designed it with three separate systems managing even unanticipated structural stresses. The bridge has a suspension system, a diagonal stay system, and a stiffening truss. "Roebling himself famously said if anything happens to one of [his] systems, 'The bridge may sag, but it will not fall.'" The movement of large numbers of people on a bridge creates pedestrian oscillations or "sway" as the crowd lifts one foot after another, some falling inevitably in synchronized cadences. The natural sway motion of people walking causes small sideways oscillations in a bridge, which in turn cause people on the bridge to sway in step, increasing the amplitude of the bridge oscillations and continually reinforcing the effect. High-density traffic of this nature causes a bridge to appear to move erratically or "to wobble" as happened at opening of the London Millennium Footbridge
Millennium Bridge (London)
The Millennium Bridge, officially known as the London Millennium Footbridge, is a steel suspension bridge for pedestrians crossing the River Thames in London, England, linking Bankside with the City. It is located between Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge...

 in 2000.

First jumper

The first person to jump from the bridge was Robert Emmet Odlum
Robert Emmet Odlum
Robert Emmet Odlum was an American swimming instructor. He was the brother of women's rights activist Charlotte Odlum Smith. Odlum was the first person to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, and was killed doing so.- Early life :...

, brother of women's rights activist Charlotte Odlum Smith
Charlotte odlum smith
Charlotte Odlum Smith was a reformer, magazine editor, champion of women inventors, and lobbyist for working women, public health, and safety in the nineteenth-century United States.-Birth and Early Life:...

, on May 19, 1885. He struck the water at an angle and died shortly thereafter from internal injuries. Steve Brodie was the most famous jumper, or self-proclaimed jumper (in 1886).

Bungee jump

On June 1993, following 13 reconnoiters inside the metal structure, and with the help of a mountain guide, Thierry Devaux
Thierry Devaux
Thierry Devauxis born on November 16, 1959 in Bourg-en-Bresse. He develops acrobatic bungee jumping. His landing on the Statue of Liberty was the feat that gave him a mainstream awarenesse designed several techniques to transform bungee jumps into sport field.-Personal: Main Spirit Jumping into...

 performed (illegally) eight acrobatic bungee jumps
Bungee jumping
Bungee jumping is an activity that involves jumping from a tall structure while connected to a large elastic cord. The tall structure is usually a fixed object, such as a building, bridge or crane; but it is also possible to jump from a movable object, such as a hot-air-balloon or helicopter, that...

 above the East River close to the Brooklyn pier, in the early morning. He used an electric winch between each acrobatic figure.

1994 Brooklyn Bridge shooting

On March 1, 1994, Lebanese-born Rashid Baz
Rashid Baz
Rashid Baz is a Lebanese-born immigrant and convicted murderer who, in the Brooklyn Bridge shooting, shot and killed 16-year old Ari Halberstam on March 1, 1994, while driving on the ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge .-The Shooting:While driving on the approach ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge from the FDR...

 opened fire on a van carrying members of the Chabad-Lubavitch
Chabad-Lubavitch
Chabad-Lubavitch is a Chasidic movement in Orthodox Judaism. One of the world's larger and best-known Chasidic movements, its official headquarters is in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York...

 Orthodox Jewish
Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism , is the approach to Judaism which adheres to the traditional interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah as legislated in the Talmudic texts by the Sanhedrin and subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and...

 Movement, striking 16-year-old student Ari Halberstam
Ari Halberstam
Ari Halberstam was a yeshiva student from a distinguished family associated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, who was killed in a terrorist shooting in New York City....

 and three others traveling on the bridge. Halberstam died five days later from his wounds. Baz was apparently acting out of revenge for the Hebron massacre
Cave of the Patriarchs massacre
The Cave of the Patriarchs massacre was a terrorist attack that occurred when Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli settler and member of the far-right Israeli Kach movement, opened fire on unarmed Palestinian Muslims praying inside the Ibrahim Mosque at the Cave of the Patriarchs site in Hebron in the...

 of 29 Muslims by Baruch Goldstein
Baruch Goldstein
Baruch Kopel Goldstein was an American-born Jewish Israeli physician and mass murderer who perpetrated the 1994 Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in the city of Hebron, killing 29 Palestinian Muslim worshipers and wounding another 125....

 that had taken place days earlier on February 25, 1994. Baz was convicted of murder and sentenced to a 141-year prison term. After initially classifying the murder as one committed out of road rage, the Justice Department
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 reclassified the case in 2000 as a terrorist attack. The entrance ramp to the bridge on the Manhattan side was named the Ari Halberstam Memorial Ramp in memory of the victim.

2003 plot

In 2003, truck driver Iyman Faris
Iyman Faris
Iyman Faris is a Pakistani American former truck driver from Columbus, Ohio who was convicted of providing material support to Al Qaeda, for his role in a plot to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge...

 was sentenced to about 20 years in prison for providing material support to Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

, after an earlier plot to destroy the bridge by cutting through its support wires with blowtorches was thwarted through information the National Security Agency
National Security Agency
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, as well as protecting U.S...

 uncovered through wiretapped phone conversations and interrogation of Al-Qaeda militants.

2006 bunker discovery

In 2006, a Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 era bunker was found by city workers near the East River shoreline of Manhattan's Lower East Side. The bunker, hidden within the masonry anchorage, still contained the emergency supplies that were being stored for a potential nuclear attack by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

.

100th anniversary celebrations

The centennary celebrations on May 24, 1983, saw a cavalcade of cars crossing the bridge, led by President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

. A flotilla of ships visited the harbor, parades were held, and in the evening the sky over the bridge was illuminated by Grucci Fireworks. The Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn Museum
The Brooklyn Museum is an encyclopedia art museum located in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. At 560,000 square feet, the museum holds New York City's second largest art collection with roughly 1.5 million works....

 exhibited a selection of the original drawings made for the bridge's construction, some by Washington Roebling himself.

125th anniversary celebrations

Beginning on May 22, 2008, festivities were held over a five-day period to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge. The events kicked off with a live performance of the Brooklyn Philharmonic
Brooklyn Philharmonic
The Brooklyn Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, commonly known as the Brooklyn Philharmonic, is an American orchestra based in the borough of Brooklyn, in New York City...

 in Empire–Fulton Ferry State Park, followed by special lighting of the bridge's towers and a fireworks display. Other events held during the 125th anniversary celebrations, which coincided with the Memorial Day
Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War...

 weekend, included a film series, historical walking tours, information tents, a series of lectures and readings, a bicycle tour of Brooklyn, a miniature golf course featuring Brooklyn icons, and other musical and dance performances.

Just before the anniversary celebrations, the Telectroscope
Telectroscope
thumb|200px|right|Telectroscope technical illustration in [[Scientific American]] Supplement No. 275, April 9, 1881The telectroscope was the first non-working prototype of a television or videophone system...

, which created a video link between New York and London, was installed on the Brooklyn side of the bridge. The installation
Installation art
Installation art describes an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space. Generally, the term is applied to interior spaces, whereas exterior interventions are often called Land art; however, the boundaries between...

 lasted for a few weeks and permitted viewers in New York to see people looking into a matching telectroscope in front of London's Tower Bridge. A newly renovated pedestrian connection to DUMBO
DUMBO, Brooklyn
Dumbo, an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It encompasses two sections: one located between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, which connect Brooklyn to Manhattan across the East River, and another that continues...

 was also unveiled before the anniversary celebrations.

Cultural significance

Contemporaries marveled at what technology was capable of and the bridge became a symbol of the optimism of the time. John Perry Barlow
John Perry Barlow
John Perry Barlow is an American poet and essayist, a retired Wyoming cattle rancher, and a cyberlibertarian political activist who has been associated with both the Democratic and Republican parties. He is also a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead and a founding member of the Electronic...

 wrote in the late 20th century of the "literal and genuinely religious leap of faith" embodied in the Brooklyn Bridge ... "the Brooklyn Bridge required of its builders faith in their ability to control technology."

References to "selling the Brooklyn Bridge" abound in American culture, sometimes as examples of rural gullibility but more often in connection with an idea that strains credulity. For example, "If you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you." George C. Parker
George C. Parker
George Parker was one of the most audacious con men in American history. He made his living selling New York's public landmarks to unwary tourists. His favorite object for sale was the Brooklyn Bridge, which he sold twice a week for years. He convinced his marks that they could make a fortune by...

 and William McCloundy
William McCloundy
William McCloundy , also known as I.O.U. O'Brien, was an early 20th-century confidence trickster, from Asbury Park, New Jersey, who served a two-and-a-half-year prison term in Sing Sing for selling the Brooklyn Bridge to a tourist in 1901.-See also:* Brooklyn Bridge#Cultural significance —...

 are two early 20th-century con-men who had (allegedly) successfully perpetrated this scam on unwitting tourists.
The 1949 Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny is a animated character created in 1938 at Leon Schlesinger Productions, later Warner Bros. Cartoons. Bugs is an anthropomorphic gray rabbit and is famous for his flippant, insouciant personality and his portrayal as a trickster. He has primarily appeared in animated cartoons, most...

 cartoon Bowery Bugs
Bowery Bugs
Bowery Bugs is a Bugs Bunny cartoon directed by Arthur Davis, written by Lloyd Turner and Bill Scott, and released in mid-1949 as part of the Merrie Melodies series...

 is a joking reference to Bugs "selling" a story of the Brooklyn Bridge to a naive tourist.

The Modernist
Modernist literature
Modernist literature is sub-genre of Modernism, a predominantly European movement beginning in the early 20th century that was characterized by a self-conscious break with traditional aesthetic forms...

 American poet Hart Crane
Hart Crane
-Career:Throughout the early 1920s, small but well-respected literary magazines published some of Crane’s lyrics, gaining him, among the avant-garde, a respect that White Buildings , his first volume, ratified and strengthened...

 used the Brooklyn Bridge as a central metaphor and organizing structure for his second and most important book of poetry, The Bridge
The Bridge (long poem)
The Bridge, first published in 1930 by the Black Sun Press, is Hart Crane's first, and only, attempt at a long poem. The Bridge was inspired by New York City's "poetry landmark", the...

. This book takes the form of a long poem spanning eight parts, beginning with an ode ("Proem: To Brooklyn Bridge") and ending with a transfigured vision of the bridge as the unifying symbol of America ("Atlantis"). Crane briefly lived in an apartment overlooking the bridge that, he later learned, once housed Washington Roebling
Washington Roebling
Washington Augustus Roebling was an American civil engineer best known for his work on the Brooklyn Bridge, which was initially designed by his father John A. Roebling.-Education and military service:...

, the Brooklyn Bridge's builder and son of its architect, John A. Roebling
John A. Roebling
John Augustus Roebling was a German-born American civil engineer. He is famous for his wire rope suspension bridge designs, in particular, the design of the Brooklyn Bridge.-Early life:...

.

It has been shown in films such as Once Upon A Time In America
Once Upon a Time in America
Once Upon a Time in America is a 1984 Italian epic crime film co-written and directed by Sergio Leone and starring Robert De Niro and James Woods. The story chronicles the lives of Jewish ghetto youths who rise to prominence in New York City's world of organized crime...

, Captive Women
Captive Women
Captive Women is an American Sci-Fi film from 1952. The movie is fairly short, only 64 minutes and is in black-and-white. In 1956 it was re-released by the name 1000 Years from Now. In the United Kingdom the movie is known as 3000 A.D, the film's original title...

, The Fifth Element
The Fifth Element
The Fifth Element is a 1997 French science fiction film directed, co-written, and based on a story by Luc Besson, starring Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, and Milla Jovovich...

, Deep Impact
Deep Impact (film)
Deep Impact is a 1998 science-fiction disaster-drama film released by Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks in the United States on May 8, 1998. The film was directed by Mimi Leder and stars Robert Duvall, Elijah Wood, Téa Leoni, and Morgan Freeman...

, Godzilla
Godzilla (1998 film)
Godzilla is a 1998 science fiction monster disaster film film co-written and directed by Roland Emmerich. It is a loose remake of the 1954 giant monster classic Godzilla. The storyline was conceived from a screenplay written by Emmerich and Dean Devlin. The film relates a tale of a nuclear incident...

, Aftershock: Earthquake in New York
Aftershock: Earthquake in New York
Aftershock: Earthquake in New York is a 1999 four-hour disaster miniseries that was broadcast in the United States on CBS in two parts, with the first part aired on November 14 and the second on November 16. It was released to VHS in 2000, and on DVD in 2001. It is based on a book written by Chuck...

, Gangs of New York
Gangs of New York
Gangs of New York is a 2002 historical film set in the mid-19th century in the Five Points district of New York City. It was directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Jay Cocks, Steven Zaillian, and Kenneth Lonergan. The film was inspired by Herbert Asbury's 1928 nonfiction book, The Gangs of New...

, I Am Legend
I Am Legend (film)
I Am Legend is a 2007 post-apocalyptic science fiction film directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Will Smith. It is the third feature film adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954 novel of the same name, following 1964's The Last Man on Earth and 1971's The Omega Man. Smith plays virologist Robert...

, Life After People
Life After People
Life After People is a television documentary series where scientists and other experts speculate about what the Earth might be like if humanity no longer existed, as well as the impact humanity's disappearance might have on the environment and the artificial aspects of civilization...

, Cloverfield
Cloverfield
Cloverfield is a 2008 American disaster-monster film directed by Matt Reeves, produced by J. J. Abrams and written by Drew Goddard.The film follows six young New Yorkers attending a going-away party on the night that a gigantic monster attacks the city...

, Zombi 2
Zombi 2
Zombi 2 is a 1979 zombie horror film directed by Lucio Fulci. It is the best-known of Fulci's films and made him a horror icon. Though the title suggests this is a sequel to Zombi Zombi 2 (also known as Zombie, Island of the Living Dead, Zombie Island, Zombie Flesh Eaters and Woodoo) is a 1979...

, Oliver & Company
Oliver & Company
Oliver & Company is a 1988 American animated film in which a homeless kitten named Oliver joins a gang of dogs to survive on the 1980s New York City streets. The film was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and became the twenty-seventh animated feature released in the Walt Disney Animated...

, Enchanted, Step Up 3D, and Kate & Leopold
Kate & Leopold
Kate & Leopold is a 2001 romantic-comedy fantasy that tells a story of a duke who travels through time from New York in 1876 to the present and falls in love with a career woman in the modern New York...

.

A bronze plaque is attached to one of the bridge's anchorages, which was constructed on a piece of property occupied by a mansion, the Osgood House
Samuel Osgood House (New York City)
The Samuel Osgood House, also known as Walter Franklin House, was a house at 1 Cherry Street in Manhattan. It served as the first Presidential Mansion, housing George Washington, his family, and household staff, from April 23, 1789 until February 23, 1790, during the 21 months that New York City...

, at 1 Cherry Street in Manhattan. It served as the first Presidential Mansion, housing George Washington, his family, and household staff from April 23, 1789 to February 23, 1790, during the two-year period when New York City was the national capital. Its owner, Samuel Osgood
Samuel Osgood
Samuel Osgood was an American merchant and statesman born in North Andover Massachusetts, parent town of the Andovers. His family home still stands at 440 Osgood Street in North Andover...

, was a Massachusetts politician and lawyer, who married Maria Bowne Franklin, widow of Walter Franklin, the New York merchant who built it in 1770. Washington moved in a week before his 1789 inauguration as first President of the United States. In addition to living quarters, the Osgood House contained the President's private office and the public business office, making it the first seat of the executive branch of the federal government.

Further reading

  • Cadbury, Deborah. (2004), Dreams of Iron and Steel. New York: HarperCollins
    HarperCollins
    HarperCollins is a publishing company owned by News Corporation. It is the combination of the publishers William Collins, Sons and Co Ltd, a British company, and Harper & Row, an American company, itself the result of an earlier merger of Harper & Brothers and Row, Peterson & Company. The worldwide...

    . ISBN 0-00-716307-X
  • Haw, Richard. (2005). The Brooklyn Bridge: A Cultural History. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press
    Rutgers University Press
    Rutgers University Press is a nonprofit academic publishing house, operating in Piscataway, New Jersey under the auspices of Rutgers University.-History:...

    . ISBN 0-8135-3587-5
  • Haw, Richard. (2008). Art of the Brooklyn Bridge: A Visual History. New York: Routledge
    Routledge
    Routledge is a British publishing house which has operated under a succession of company names and latterly as an academic imprint. Its origins may be traced back to the 19th-century London bookseller George Routledge...

    . ISBN 0-415-95386-3
  • McCullough, David. (1972). The Great Bridge. New York: Simon & Schuster
    Simon & Schuster
    Simon & Schuster, Inc., a division of CBS Corporation, is a publisher founded in New York City in 1924 by Richard L. Simon and M. Lincoln Schuster. It is one of the four largest English-language publishers, alongside Random House, Penguin and HarperCollins...

    . ISBN 0-671-21213-3
  • Odlum, Catherine {1885}. The Life and Times of Prof Robert Emmet Odlum. Washington DC. gray & Clarkson
  • Strogatz, Steven. (2003). Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order. New York: Hyperion books. 10-ISBN 0-7868-6844-9; 13-ISBN 978-0-7868-6844-5 (cloth) [2nd ed., Hyperion, 2004. 10-ISBN 0-7868-8721-4; 13-ISBN 978-0-7868-8721-7 (paper)]
  • Strogartz, Steven, Daniel M. Abrams, Allan McRobie, Bruno Eckhardt, and Edward Ott. et al. (2005). "Theoretical mechanics: Crowd synchrony on the Millennium Bridge," Nature, Vol. 438, pp, 43–44.link to Nature articleMillennium Bridge opening day video illustrating "crowd synchrony" oscillations
  • Trachtenberg, Alan
    Alan Trachtenberg
    Alan Trachtenberg is Neil Gray, Jr. Professor Emeritus of English and American Studies at Yale University. He received his Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of Minnesota. He is the husband of Betty Trachtenberg, former Dean of Students at Yale University, and father to Zev Trachtenberg,...

    . (1965). Brooklyn Bridge: Fact and Symbol. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
    University of Chicago Press
    The University of Chicago Press is the largest university press in the United States. It is operated by the University of Chicago and publishes a wide variety of academic titles, including The Chicago Manual of Style, dozens of academic journals, including Critical Inquiry, and a wide array of...

    . ISBN 0226811158 [2nd ed., 1979, ISBN 0-226-81115-8 (paper)]

External links

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