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Mount Rushmore Sculpture

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Mount Rushmore Sculpture
Mount Rushmore National Park
13000 Highway 244
Keystone, South Dakota 57751
Voice: 605-574-2523
Recorded Message: 605-574-3171

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began carving Mount Rushmore with the simple goal of "the formal rendering of the philosophy of our government into granite on a mountain peak." Mount Rushmore, named in 1885 for New York Lawyer Charles E. Rushmore, was chosen as the site for such a memorial because its broad granite wall faced southeast and receives direct sunlight most of the day. Borglum's monument to America was a grouping of four leaders who brought the country from colonial times into the 20th century. The most prominent position was given to George Washington, commander of the Revolutionary Army and our 1st president. Next is Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, our 3rd president and advocate of expansion to the west. The 3rd position is held by Theodore Roosevelt, our 26th president who promoted the construction of the Panama Canal and ignited causes like conservation and business reform. On the far right is Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president whose leadership ended slavery in the U.S. and restored the Union.

Construction of the monument began in 1927 and ended in October, 1941 on the day before the U.S. entered WWII. Only 6 1/2 of those 14 years was spent sculpting while the rest was spent securing funds from various government officials and agencies. The final dedication of the monument didn't take place until 50 years later.



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