Today in History–Mt. Rushmore Dedicated, October 31, 1941
Mt. Rushmore, a.k.a. the President’s Mountain is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It was formally dedicated on October 31, 1941, and draws as many as three million visitors annually.
The four presidents carved into the mountain are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
The monument was conceived by Doane Robinson, whose vision was to create an attraction that would bring people to South Dakota from all over the country.
It took 14 years to complete the sculptures, Gutzon Borglum oversaw the work which was done mostly by hand (and with the aid of dynamite). 400 workers took part in the project, and amazingly, no one died while doing this highly dangerous work.
The four presidents are 60 feet tall, the original plan was to carve the president’s entire upper torsos into the mountain. Lack of funding caused the work to be halted with just the heads.
Scuptor Gutzon Borglum died in March of 1941, the project was completed (as it was) by Borglum’s son Lincoln.
I have had the pleasure of visiting Mt. Rushmore twice in the last decade, and it is a sight to behold. If you visit the site, be sure to watch the program in the visitor center on the construction of the monuments.
Not far from Mt. Rushmore, you will find the monument depicting Crazy Horse. This is still a work in progress, but is well worth the visit.