We have seen wonderful sculptures and statues, but Mount Rushmore has a more incredible way to express art. Mount Rushmore is a national memorial where a sculpture of four U.S presidents was carved into the granite rock. The four chosen presidents are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. These amazing presidents represent the country’s birth, growth, development, and preservation. Mount Rushmore is located in the Black Hills of Keystone in South Dakota, and there are around 3 million people visit there each year. Many more interesting facts about Mount Rushmore are below, so let’s see together.
1The History of Mount Rushmore
The Father of Mount Rushmore was Doane Robinson whose goal was to create an attraction that would draw people in the country to his state. Back then, Robinson contacted Gutzon Borglum who was a famous Dutch-American sculpture for the project. Borglum was the one who identified Mount Rushmore as the perfect location for this wonderful monument. That was because of the fact that the cliff’s height was above the surrounding area and its composition of granite.
The work began in 1927, and it was completed in 1941 by his son Lincoln Borglum after his death. There were over 400 workers helped to sculpt Mount Rushmore by climbing 506 steps to the top each day. The original plan of Mount Rushmore was to carve the figures from head to waist but the shortage funding didn’t allow for that. The project fund was $250,000 at first but the whole project eventually cost $989,992.32 which was nearly one million dollars.
2Why The Four Presidents?
So the memorial depicts 4 American presidents, and that was because they represent the first 130 years of the American history. Borglum did not only choose the location and the sculpting idea but also which presidents to include on the mountain. He had his reasons behind each president he chose, and those are:
- George Washington (1789 – 1797): He was the first president, and he represents the foundation of American history.
- Thomas Jefferson (1801 – 1809): He was the third president of the United States, and the president who signed the Louisiana Purchase. He greatly expanded the nation, and he was also the author of the hugely influential Declaration of Independence.
- Abraham Lincoln (1861 – 1865): He was the president during the U.S Civil War, and he represents the preservation of the nation above all costs.
- Theodore Roosevelt (1901 – 1909): He served as the 26th president of the United States, and he represents the industrial development of the nation.
Each president’s face is 60 feet high, and Washington’s face was completed in 1934, Jefferson’s in 1936, and Lincoln’s was in 1937. Then in 1938, Gutzon Borglum secretly began blasting a Hall of Records in the mountain behind the Lincoln’s head. The purpose of the hall was to store the history of the nation and vital documents in a room decorated with mosaics. The Congress found out then told the artist to concentrate on the faces instead of the hall due to the lack of funding.
Gutzon reluctantly stopped working on the hall in 1939 but he vowed to complete it. That same year he finished the last face of Theodore Roosevelt. The sculptor died in March of 1941, and he left the completion of the monument to his son Lincoln. The completion of Mount Rushmore Memorial Monument was complete on 31st of October in 1941 which took 14 years to finish. It took quite long because of the weather and lack of funds.
10 Quick Facts About Mount Rushmore
- You will have to climb 422 stairs to the top if you start the trail from the Sculptor’s Studio.
- Every night, Mount Rushmore gets illuminated for two hours.
- Mount Rushmore is granite, so it only erodes roughly 1 inch every 10,000 years.
- It took 18 months for the sculptors to realize that the original location to carve Thomas Jefferson’s face was not right.
- The men who worked on the mountain were neither artists nor sculptors, they were miners who gave up looking for gold. Since they knew how to use dynamite and jackhammers which were useful for the sculpting, they were perfect for the job.
- Workers had to climb over 500 steps each day to reach their job sites. Despite the dangerous route, nobody died.
- The order of the faces is Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln.
- Each of the president’s heads is equal to a six-storey high building.
- George Washington’s nose is longer than the others.
- The mountain didn’t have a name until 1930 when a visiting attorney from New York asked if the mountain had a name. The locals said no then name the mountain after him.