Buying The Brooklyn Bridge

“I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.”

What’s the story behind this phrase?

Enter George C. Parker, born in 1870.

Not a hero’s tale, the legacy he left behind was one of heartless deception.

He took advantage of naive immigrants and tourists by selling them buildings and monuments, the Statue of Liberty, Madison Square Garden, Ulysses S. Grant’s tomb, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and most famously the Brooklyn Bridge, that he had never owned.

Thus the phrase “I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you” encompasses the sentiment that a group is being particularly gullible.

It’s easy to believe the unbelievable when we so desperately want it to be true.

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