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Miss Oakland 1936 Recalls Original Bay Bridge Opening

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Nancy Emmons

Nancy Emmons, Miss Oakland in 1936. (CBS)

OAKLAND (CBS 5) – We call it history, but for 100-year old Nancy Emmons, the opening the original Bay Bridge is a real memory. She was a 23-year old Indiana girl coming to the Bay Area for an adventure. Back in 1936, Nancy happened to wander into an Oakland ad agency looking for work, just a few days from the completion of the Bay Bridge.

According to Nancy’s daughter, Zette, “They took one look at her and said: ‘How would you like to be Miss Oakland Bay Bridge?’ Or, Miss Oakland. For the Bay Bridge opening?”

And that was it. There was no contest, just a lucky break, and Nancy Emmons found herself on a parade float as Miss Oakland to mark the opening of the new Bay Bridge.

Fame was somewhat fleeting for Nancy, and the bridge. Just 6 months later, the Golden Gate Bridge opened and it got an even bigger parade and long-lasting notoriety.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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