Fifty years, give or take, is not very long considering New York, Philadelphia or Boston, but it is long enough for Lake Havasu to receive some loving from The History Channel. History, the American basic cable and satellite television channel that is owned by A&E Networks, recently focused on how the London Bridge ended up in Arizona. In a story posted by Evan Andrews on Oct. 7, the reporter explains that in 1968 industrialist Robert McCulloch was desperate for a way to draw tourists to the fledgling resort town, and he found it half a world away in England, which had placed its iconic London Bridge on the auction block.
“In one of the most harebrained marketing schemes in history, McCulloch bought the 19th century monument, shipped it across the ocean and reassembled it piece-by-piece in the desert,” Andrews writes.
The rest is, well, history.
In April 1968, for a final price of $2,460,000, Robert McCulloch became the proud owner of the world’s largest antique. The bridge was disassembled, packed away in crates and shipped to Long Beach, Calif., via the Panama Canal. From there, a small army of trucks carried it across the desert to its new home at Lake Havasu.
Andrews reveals the little-known fact that McCulloch dedicated the bridge in a ceremony that included skydivers, fireworks, marching bands, hot air balloons and a dinner banquet featuring lobster and roast beef – the same meal that had been served to King William IV during the bridge’s original unveiling in 1831.
There was a rumor – since discredited – that the Americans had been duped into thinking they were buying the more iconic Tower Bridge. But McCulloch was too smart for that.
Read the entire story here: How London Bridge Ended Up In Arizona