Mount Rushmore is a famous national monument located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, United States.
The monument features the carved faces of four former United States presidents, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The monument was created by sculptor Gutzon Borglum, who began work on the project in 1927 and completed it in 1941, with the help of nearly 400 workers.
The faces of the presidents are each about 60 feet high and are carved into the granite face of the mountain. Mount Rushmore is a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year who come to see the impressive sculpture and learn about the history and legacy of these important American presidents.
Who Built It?
Mount Rushmore was built by sculptor Gutzon Borglum, with the help of nearly 400 workers. Borglum began work on the project in 1927, and it took over 14 years to complete. The faces of the presidents are each about 60 feet high and are carved into the granite face of the mountain.
Despite its impressive size and scale, Mount Rushmore was completed with remarkable accuracy, and the finished sculpture is considered a masterpiece of American art and engineering. Today it is a popular tourist destination and a symbol of American patriotism and national pride.
Why Did They Carve Mount Rushmore?
Mount Rushmore was carved as a way to honor four of the most important and influential presidents in United States history. The project was proposed in the 1920s by historian Doane Robinson, who wanted to create a tourist attraction in the Black Hills of South Dakota to boost the local economy.
Sculptor Gutzon Borglum was hired to design and oversee the project, which involved carving the faces of the four presidents into the granite face of Mount Rushmore. The project was seen as a way to promote American patriotism and national pride, and it was funded by both public and private donations.
Today, Mount Rushmore remains an iconic symbol of American history and culture, attracting millions of visitors each year who come to see the impressive sculpture and learn about the legacy of these important presidents.
4 Faces Of Mount Rushmore
THE FIRST FACE – GEORGE WASHINGTON
Borglum chose to include the face of George Washington on Mount Rushmore because he saw him as a symbol of the country’s founding and a unifying figure who brought together the different regions of the country. Washington was also the country’s first president, and his leadership and strength were seen as emblematic of the nation’s ideals.
Design for Washington’s face included a prominent nose, deep-set eyes, and a strong jawline. He used dynamite to blast away large portions of the rock and then used chisels and hammers to refine the details of the face.
Today, the face of Washington remains one of the most recognizable parts of Mount Rushmore and a testament to the sculptor’s skill and artistry. It stands as a powerful symbol of American identity and the country’s commitment to democracy, freedom, and unity.
THE SECOND FACE – THOMAS JEFFERSON
His face was included on Mount Rushmore as a representation of his contributions to American democracy and ideals of liberty and independence. As the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson played a significant role in shaping the country’s founding principles and values.
Sculptor saw Jefferson as a visionary leader who championed the cause of individual freedom and democracy.
Borglum was also impressed with Jefferson’s contributions to science, education, and architecture, as well as his presidency.
His face on Mount Rushmore was designed to reflect his intellectual and visionary qualities. The face was carved with a strong nose, broad forehead, and deep-set eyes, conveying a sense of wisdom and intellect. Jefferson’s chin was also carved in a way that suggested determination and resolves.
THE THIRD FACE – THEODORE ROOSEVELT
Theodore Roosevelt’s face was included on Mount Rushmore as a representation of his contributions to American politics, conservation, and military history. As the 26th President of the United States, Roosevelt was known for his progressive policies, conservation efforts, and leadership during the Spanish-American War.
Sculptor Gutzon Borglum chose to include Roosevelt on Mount Rushmore because he believed that Roosevelt’s leadership and achievements embodied the spirit of America’s growth and progress during the early 20th century. Roosevelt was seen as a symbol of American vitality, strength, and determination.
Roosevelt’s face on Mount Rushmore was designed to reflect his energetic personality and rugged individualism.
The face was carved with a prominent brow, strong jawline, and wide-set eyes, conveying a sense of confidence and determination. Roosevelt’s signature mustache was also included in the design.
THE FOURTH FACE – ABRAHAM LINCOLN
The face of the president was included on Mount Rushmore as a representation of his contributions to American democracy and the fight for equality. As the 16th President of the United States, Lincoln is known for his leadership during the Civil War and his advocacy for the abolition of slavery.
They chose to include Lincoln on Mount Rushmore because he believed that Lincoln’s legacy embodied the ideals of democracy, freedom, and justice that are at the heart of American values. Borglum saw Lincoln as a symbol of hope, determination, and perseverance in the face of great adversity.
Lincoln’s face on Mount Rushmore was designed to reflect his strength, wisdom, and compassion. The face was carved with a prominent nose, high cheekbones, and a strong chin, conveying a sense of authority and dignity. Lincoln’s eyes were also carved in a way that suggested deep contemplation and compassion.
Today, Lincoln’s face on Mount Rushmore serves as a reminder of America’s ongoing struggle for equality and justice. The monument stands as a powerful symbol of the progress that has been made in the fight for civil rights, as well as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done.
The monument continues to inspire Americans and visitors from around the world with its powerful message of unity, strength, and pride in the nation’s history and ideals.
11 Facts You May Not Know
- Sculptor Gutzon Borglum was 60 when he began work on Mt Rushmore
- Mount Rushmore presidents took 14 years to complete
- Mount Rushmore cost less than 1 million dollars to make (over 17 million in today’s dollars)
- Sculptor Gutzon Borglum was assisted by over 400 workers
- In all, there are 506 steps to reach the summit of Mt Rushmore
- The Mount Rushmore sculpture was completed safely with no casualties
- Mount Rushmore is approximately 465 feet in total height
- Each of the eyes of the Mount Rushmore presidents is 11 feet wide
- Each of the president’s noses is about 20 feet high
- Each president’s mouth is about 18 feet wide
- The elevation of Mount Rushmore monument is about 5,500 feet above sea level
Who Was Supposed to Be the Fifth Face on Mount Rushmore?
There are several individuals who were proposed as potential candidates for a fifth face on Mount Rushmore, but ultimately the project was never completed. The most commonly cited person is Chief Red Cloud, a Lakota Sioux warrior who played a significant role in the history of the Black Hills region where Mount Rushmore is located. Red Cloud was proposed as a candidate for the fifth face by Lakota elders who wanted to see their culture and history represented on the monument.
Other proposed candidates for a fifth face on Mount Rushmore include Susan B. Anthony, the suffragette who fought for women’s rights, and John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States. However, none of these proposals were ever seriously considered and the monument remains unfinished with only the four faces of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln.
Why Didn’t They Finish Mount Rushmore?
The monument was actually never completed as planned. The original concept for Mount Rushmore called for the four faces to be accompanied by full-scale figures of the presidents, depicting them from the waist up. The figures would be positioned in front of the faces, but this idea was ultimately abandoned due to a lack of funding.
Additionally, work on the monument was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II in 1939. Many of the sculptors and workers who had been involved in the project were called to serve in the military, and the government redirected funding and resources toward the war effort.
Despite the unfinished nature of the monument, Mount Rushmore remains an important symbol of American history and ingenuity and attracts millions of visitors from around the world each year.
What Are the Secrets of Mount Rushmore?
There are several interesting secrets and little-known facts about Mount Rushmore that are not commonly known. Here are a few:
- The sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, originally intended to carve the presidents down to their waists, but the project was scaled back due to funding limitations.
- The four faces were not carved in the order that they appear on the mountain. The work began with George Washington, followed by Thomas Jefferson, then Abraham Lincoln, and finally Theodore Roosevelt.
- The sculptors used dynamite to blast away the rock in the initial stages of the project. However, once they got closer to the faces, they switched to jackhammers and chisels to avoid damaging the fine details of the sculptures.
- There is a hidden room located behind Abraham Lincoln’s head that was intended to serve as a repository for important documents and artifacts. However, it was never used for this purpose and remains empty to this day.
- The original concept for the monument called for the presidents to be depicted from the waist up, with the full-scale figures positioned in front of the faces. This idea was ultimately abandoned due to funding limitations and the outbreak of World War II.
- The construction of Mount Rushmore took over 14 years and employed over 400 workers.
- The project was controversial from the start, as it involved carving the faces into land that was considered sacred by the Lakota Sioux people.
Can You Go Inside Mount Rushmore?
Yes, visitors can go inside Mount Rushmore to explore the museum, view exhibits and watch the informative film about the monument’s creation. There is also a walking trail that takes visitors through the presidential sculpture viewing area, giving them a closer look at the faces of the four presidents.
However, visitors are not allowed to climb on the sculpture or go behind it due to safety reasons.
The selection of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln to be featured on Mount Rushmore was based on their contributions to American democracy, as well as their embodiment of the country’s values and ideals.
These four presidents were chosen to represent different eras in American history and their faces serve as a reminder of the great achievements of the United States.
The monument has become an iconic symbol of American pride and patriotism, attracting millions of visitors from all over the world to witness the magnificence of these four presidential faces.
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