The Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened on March 19th, 1932 by Premier Jack Lang, after six years of construction. Opening day was an interesting one. Before Lang could cut the ribbon to signify the opening of the bridge, Captain Francis DeGroot of the political group The New Guard slashed the ribbon with his sword. Captain DeGoot believed that the only person to open the Bridge should be a member of the Royal Family. Captain DeGroot was detained, the ribbon tied together, and the Premier then officially cut the ribbon.
Here are some other interesting tidbits about The Sydney Harbour Bridge:
- Its nickname is the Coathanger because of the arched-based design.
- It’s the world’s largest steel bridge, but not the longest.
- 96 steam locomotives were positioned in various ways to test the load capacity of the bridge before it opened.
- The top of the arch rises and falls slightly due to changes in temperature.
- It contains 6 million hand driven rivets.
- Bridge Climb started in 1998 and attracts tourists and locals alike to climb the monument.
- It is strong enough to withstand the impact of earthquakes and sinking ships.
- It carries around 90,000 vehicles a day.
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*Fun facts brought to you by australia.gov