the brooklyn bridge officially opened to the public on may 24, 1883 - 13 years after construction had begun. here is a brief description of that day, from wikipedia:
"The opening ceremony was attended by several thousand people and many ships were present in the East Bay for the occasion. President Chester A. Arthur and New York Mayor Franklin Edson crossed the bridge to celebratory cannon fire and were greeted by Brooklyn Mayor Seth Low when they reached the Brooklyn-side tower.
On that first day, a total of 1,800 vehicles and 150,300 people crossed what was then the only land passage between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Emily Warren Roebling was the first to cross the bridge."
the brooklyn bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the world, and has become symbolic of borough of brooklyn. in a coincidence, the brooklyn half marathon was held just this weekend. i, together with thousands of runners, made our way to brooklyn for the race - some of whom may even have taken the brooklyn bridge to get there :D