Mount Rushmore

Where is Mount Rushmore?

Mount Rushmore is located in the South Dakota Black Hills. The Mt Rushmore memorial was created by master sculpture Gutzon Borlgum with the assistance of over 400 blasters, carvers and workers.

Construction of the granite rock faced mountain near Keystone South Dakota began in 1927 when Borglum was 60 and the sculptures of the Mount Rushmore presidents were not completed until Borlgum’s death in 1941.

Borlgum created Mount Rushmore to commemorate America’s first 150 years as a free country. In his own words, Gutzon Borlgum states that the four Mount Rushmore presidents were chosen to “commemorate the founding, growth, preservation, and development to the United States of America.” The four Mount Rushmore presidents (and the years they served) include;

  • George Washington (1789 – 1797)
  • Thomas Jefferson (1801 – 1809)
  • Abraham Lincoln (1861 – 1865)
  • Theodore Roosevelt (1901 – 1909)

Why These Mount Rushmore Presidents?

One of the most common questions asked is this; why were these presidents chosen for the Mount Rushmore monument?

George Washington
President Washington was selected because of his efforts towards democracy in the United States.

Thomas Jefferson
President Jefferson was chosen for his authorship of the Declaration of Independence.

Abraham Lincoln
President Lincoln was chosen because he was responsible for the end of slavery in the United States.

Theodore Roosevelt
President Roosevelt was a personal choice of Borglum’s and was chosen because of his contributions to business, conservation and the creation of the Panama Canal.

The United States of America came into being in 1776 and will be 234 years old on July 1st, 2010. Mount Rushmore represents presidents from each important era including the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

Facts About Mount Rushmore

The sculpted heads of the four American presidents at Mount Rushmore are 60 feet (18.29 meters) high. Here are some answers to some of the most common questions plus a few other interesting facts about Mount Rushmore;

  • Who built Mount Rushmore? Gutzon Borlgum who was 60 when he began sculpting
  • Mount Rushmore presidents took 14 years to complete
  • Mount Rushmore cost less than 1 million dollar to make
  • Sculptor Gutzon Borlgum was assisted by over 400 workers
  • Workers had to climb over 500 steps to reach the summit of the sculptures
  • The Mount Rushmore sculpture was completed safely with no casualties
  • How tall is Mount Rushmore? About 465 feet
  • Each of the eyes of the Mount Rushmore presidents are 11 feet wide
  • Each of the noses are about 20 feet high
  • Each mouth is about 18 feet wide
  • The elevation of Mount Rushmore monument is about 5,500 feet

Mount Rushmore Construction

The work required exquisite talent and precise craftsmanship, and it was definitely very difficult to complete the construction of this historical landmark. The construction workers started off the sculptures with egg-shaped masses of rock. Huge boulders were cleared with the use of dynamite to carve out the general shapes of the Mount Rushmore presidents’ heads. To finish the sculpture Gutzon Borlgum and his crew had to remove approximately 400 thousand tons of rock from the site.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial rests on more than 500 hectares of land and is part of the Mount Rushmore National Park under the management of the National Park Service. More than 2 million tourists visit Mount Rushmore annually.

Mt Rushmore & Yellowstone Park Tour

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