This Day in Cape: The Cape Girardeau Bridge Opens This Day in Cape: The Cape Girardeau Bridge Opens
On this Labor Day in Cape, 1928, the old Cape Girardeau Bridge was dedicated and opened. The bridge linked Cape Girardeau and East Cape Girardeau, Illinois and spanned the Mississippi River. It was originally a toll bridge. In 1926, President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill approving the construction of the bridge, and it was completed in September of 1928. On September 3rd, Labor Day, the bridge was dedicated in a ceremony that was attended by nearly 15,000 people. It must have been quite the event according to the poster that was used for advertising: Six brass bands, a parade, a Queen of the Bridge pageant, and more!
The bridge was infamously narrow, with a road deck measuring only 20 feet wide. It was replaced by the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge in 2003 and demolished in 2004. The entire bridge was not demolished though—it is now a lookout point you can visit!
The promotional posters to the event were thought to have been lost to time, until someone found hundreds of copies inside a house they were remodeling! To hear the story, click the photo below to watch a video!