Souvenir of the Opening of the East River Bridge, May 24, 1883
Grade Range: 5-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 6/10/2009
By the late 19th century, the United States had established itself as a world leader in the area of civil engineering. Perhaps no project better symbolized America's technical prowess than the awe-inspiring Brooklyn Bridge, which connected the nation's largest and third largest cities—New York and Brooklyn, respectively—in 1883 across the turbulent tidal strait known as the East River. The main 1,600-foot (490-meter) span of this towering suspension bridge exceeded the world's longest span by fifty percent.
The bridge's opening prompted a huge celebration. This white metal medallion was struck to commemorate that occasion. Its obverse proudly proclaims the motto, "Two Cities As One," while the legend on its reverse reads: "Souvenir of the Opening of the East River Bridge, May 24th 1883."
Use this Investigation Sheet to guide students through describing the object and analyzing its meaning.
Historical Thinking Standards (Grades 5-12)
United States History Standards (Grades 5-12)
World History Standards (Grades 5-12)