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Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore in South Dakota

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is centered on a colossal sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore (Lakota: Tȟuŋkášila Šákpe, or Six Grandfathers) in the Black Hills near Keystone, South Dakota. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum created the sculpture’s design and oversaw the project’s execution from 1927 to 1941 with the help of his son, Lincoln Borglum. The sculpture features the 60-foot-tall (18 m) heads of four United States Presidents recommended by Borglum: George Washington (1732–1799), Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) and Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865). The four presidents were chosen to represent the nation’s birth, growth, development and preservation, respectively. The memorial park covers 1,278 acres (2. 00 sq mi; 5. 17 km2) and the actual mountain has an elevation of 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level. The sculptor and tribal representatives settled on Mount Rushmore, which also has the advantage of facing southeast for maximum sun exposure. Doane Robinson wanted it to feature American West heroes, such as Lewis and Clark, their expedition guide Sacagawea, Oglala Lakota chief Red Cloud, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Oglala Lakota chief Crazy Horse. Borglum believed that the sculpture should have broader appeal and chose the four presidents.

Peter Norbeck, U.S. senator from South Dakota, sponsored the project and secured federal funding. Construction began in 1927; the presidents’ faces were completed between 1934 and 1939. After Gutzon Borglum died in March 1941, his son Lincoln took over as leader of the construction project. Each president was originally to be depicted from head to waist, but lack of funding forced construction to end on October 31, 1941. Sometimes referred to as the “Shrine of Democracy”, Mount Rushmore attracts more than two million visitors annually.

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Nearby Locations:

Crazy Horse Memorial (8.7 miles)
Flintstone Bedrock City (11.2 miles)
Wind Cave National Park (19.1 miles)
Jewel Cave National Monument (21.1 miles)
Spearfish Falls (40.2 miles)
Badlands National Park (55.8 miles)
Wall Drug Store (61.1 miles)
Toadstool Geologic Park (70.9 miles)
Devils Tower National Monument (79.2 miles)
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Wyoming, West


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Mount Rushmore National Memorial, 13000 South Dakota 244
Keystone, South Dakota 57751

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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “Mount Rushmore“, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.