American Experience

Building a Bridge in the Ocean

Clip: Season 16 | 57s

The south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge was built over a thousand feet into open ocean. To build the tower, workers would have to erect a pier more than 1100 feet out in the middle of the Gate -- the first bridge support ever constructed in the open ocean. Divers guided beams, panels, blasting tubes and 40-ton steel forms into position and secured them, striving to avoid being swept away.

Aired: 05/03/04

Rating: NR

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The Chinese Six Companies


The Chinese Six Companies

On May 28, 1900, San Francisco policemen formed a perimeter around Chinatown as officials diagnosed bubonic plague in the neighborhood and wanted to quarantine the nearly 20,000 residents. As tensions flared, an influential group of merchants known as the Chinese Six Companies sprang into action.