In 1968, an American bought the old London Bridge and moved it to Arizona.
Source: Original photo by Chris Nunez/ Shutterstock

In 1968, an American bought the old London Bridge and moved it to Arizona.

If you want to see the 19th-century version of London Bridge, don’t travel to London — or even England, for that matter. Instead, head to Lake Havasu, Arizona, where a U.S. businessman by the name of Robert McCulloch moved the bridge after buying it in 1968. That the landmark structure was even for sale was the result of English officials realizing the bridge was sinking, albeit at the relatively slow pace of one inch every eight years. And so, after a tenure of some 130 years — a bit shabby, when you consider that its medieval predecessor stood for more than 600 — that iteration of London Bridge was put on the market after London city councilor Ivan Luckin convinced his colleagues that he could persuade someone in America to buy it. 

London Bridge is the tallest bridge in central London.
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Incorrect.
It's a Fib
Tower Bridge, which is often mistaken for London Bridge, is taller, at a height of 213 feet. London Bridge is a bit longer, however — about 882 feet to Tower Bridge’s 800. If you go just outside of London, the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge is taller and longer than both of them.

He was right, of course, and it made sense that McCulloch would be the one to purchase it. An eccentric industrialist who once attributed his success to “booze and broads,” McCulloch jumped at the opportunity to bring a piece of history to a patch of land he was hoping to turn into a haven for tourists. Buying the bridge for the princely sum of $2.46 million was the easy part — it was disassembling and moving it, granite brick by granite brick, that turned out to be a logistical nightmare. Three years and another $7 million later, London Bridge settled in its (apparently) final resting place on October 10, 1971. Today, it’s one of Arizona’s top attractions.

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Numbers Don’t Lie
Length (in feet) of the medieval London Bridge
926
Length (in miles) of Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge, the world’s longest
102
Year the first London Bridge made of stone was completed
1176
Annual visitors to Lake Havasu
835,000
The world’s tallest bridge is in _______.
The world’s tallest bridge is in France.
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Think Twice
No one knows who the “fair lady” in “London Bridge Is Falling Down” was.

Like many nursery rhymes, the precise origins of “London Bridge Is Falling Down” are hard to pin down. Also like many nursery rhymes, they’re assumed to be fairly dark. Though everything from a bridge suffering normal wear and tear to child sacrifice has been floated as a possible interpretation, the most widely held belief is that “London Bridge” is about King of Norway Olaf II and his fellow Vikings allegedly destroying said bridge in the early 1000s. As for the fair lady, there’s even more disagreement about her true identity. Some think the reference is to the Virgin Mary, whom Londoners credited with protecting the rest of their city from similar destruction, while others believe Eleanor of Provence or another royal consort is the lady in question.

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