Oct 4, 1927
Construction Starts On
“America will march along that skyline.”
Gutzon Borglum, sculptor
“More and more we sensed we were creating a truly great thing, and after a while all of us old hands became truly dedicated to it.”
Red Anderson, Mount Rushmore carver. Approx. 400 men & women helped carve the granite memorial over a 14-year period. The idea for a mountain sculpture began in order to encourage people to visit South Dakota's Black Hills; now 2.3M visitors come every year.
Why \*These\* Presidents?
Each one represents an important chapter in America’s story
- George Washington: “birth” of nation.
- Thomas Jefferson: “growth” of ideas (ex: Declaration of Independence) & westward expansion.
- Theodore Roosevelt: “development” of economic growth & exploration.
- Abraham Lincoln: “preservation” of country during the during Civil War.
Did You Know?
- It was named after a NY attorney surveying the area in the late 1800s.
- Originally the monument was to feature western figures (ex: Lewis & Clark, Sacagawea), but sculptor Gutzon Borglum said it should be “a national monument commemorating America’s founders and builders.”
- Workers walked 700 stairs before being suspended thousands of feet above ground to carve with chisels & jackhammers.
”The idea is so that people a million years from now will realize their significance. So many things are lost in history. The Sphinx, the pyramids, the heads on Easter Island. Archeologists are forever trying to figure them out.”
Lincoln Borglum, son of sculptor, who helped complete Mt. Rushmore after his dad’s death. He advocated to complete the “Hall of Records”; a room carved into the mt. explaining the project & American history. The Hall of Records opened officially in 1998.
90% of Mt. Rushmore was carved by dynamite. In fact, some dynamite was used to blast away the first face of President Jefferson. Pres. Jefferson was originally situated on the outside so Pres. Washington would be in the middle, but the stone turned out to be too weak.
In July 2020:
As President Trump readies to hold a July 3rd celebration at Mt. Rushmore, controversy ignites over the site, its sculptor, and the subjects of the national memorial as several groups plan protests. Here’s some background as to why:
FROM NY TIMES: CLICK HERE
This year, for the first time in more than a decade, there will be a major fireworks display to commemorate Independence Day at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
The sculpture features the faces of four American presidents — Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Lincoln — carved into a granite slope over the Black Hills of South Dakota. In the eight decades since the carving was completed, it has never been without controversy.
So when President Trump announced in May that he would attend the festivities there, it invited even more scrutiny of the monument’s history, the leaders it celebrates, the sculptor who created it and the land it towers over. READ MORE
FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS: Native Americans protesting Trump trip to Mount Rushmore: CLICK HERE
From October 2018:
- Carving History:
- Author of 4 books on Mount Rushmore:
- The Workers:
- Lincoln Borglum Dies; Aided at Mt. Rushmore:
- How the mountain got its name:
- Mt. Rushmore National Memorial:
by Jenna Lee,