The Bay Bridge and the Bad Idea
In 1937 a professional stunt diver named Roy Woods came to San Francisco with a plan. A veteran of bridge dives including two off the Brooklyn Bridge, Woods figured that if he could be the first man to dive off the new Bay Bridge he could get hired as a stunt diver at the upcoming Golden Gate International Exposition. One problem was that foot traffic, let alone diving, was prohibited on the Bay Bridge. Not one to be deterred Woods secretly arranged with reporters from the San Francisco Examiner to record and photograph the historic dive. So on March 22, 1937 Woods, wearing a leather football helmet and steel-ribbed corset, stole out onto the bridge and at a height of 185 feet stepped off to perform a back jack-knife.

Unfortunately Woods was not familiar with the Bay's strong winds. Halfway down a gust caught him, turned him, and he hit the water awkwardly at sixty miles per hour. The impact broke his back and paralyzed him from the waist down. The Examiner's boat pulled Woods from the Bay. Later Woods would find out that his final dive hadn't even been caught on film due to the competing Chronicle newspaper's boat blocking the Examiner photographer's shot. To literally add insult to injury Woods later received a city citation for illegally walking on the bridge.
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