Skip Navigation Links  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room (Serial and Government Publications Division)
  Home >> Topics in Chronicling America

Topics in Chronicling America - Brooklyn Bridge; Fanfare and Fatalities

The Brooklyn Bridge opens as the longest suspension bridge in the world on May 24, 1883. The excitement and celebration of the opening are soon tainted by a stampede, caused by panic after a late afternoon accident on the bridge, on May 30, 1883. Although other accidents and events on the bridge make headlines for years to come, the bridge still stands and is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.
Picture of the Brooklyn Bridge

Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • May 24, 1883: The Brooklyn Bridge is opened to the public with great fanfare; it is the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time of completion.
  • May 30, 1883: 12 people die and 36 are seriously injured on the Brooklyn Bridge in a stampede caused by unnecessary panic after a woman trips.
  • May 19, 1885: Robert E. Odlum is the first person to commit suicide jumping from the bridge.
  • July 23, 1886: Steve Brodie claims to have survived a jump off the bridge.
  • October 31, 1920: Bridge is declared safe.

Suggested Search Terms:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Brooklyn Bridge, East River, New York Bridge Company, John Roebling, Washington Roebling, suspension bridge, William C. Kingsley.
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results.
  • Be prepared to distinguish between the many articles that discuss the other major East River bridges (Manhattan, Queensboro, and Williamsburg) constructed between 1880 and 1910.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >> Topics in Chronicling America
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  January 22, 2013
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:  
Ask a Librarian