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Mount Rushmore

This article is about the mountain. For the 1960s rock
band, see Mount Rushmore (band).

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture
carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore, a gran-
ite batholith formation in the Black Hills in Keystone,
South Dakota, United States. Sculpted by Danish-
American Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Bor-
glum, Mount Rushmore features 60-foot (18 m) sculp-
tures of the heads of four United States presidents:
George Washington (1732–1799), Thomas Jefferson
(1743–1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), and
Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865).[2] The entire memorial
covers 1,278.45 acres (2.00 sq mi; 5.17 km2 )[3] and is
5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level.[4] Mount Rushmore before construction, circa 1905.
South Dakota historian Doane Robinson is credited with
conceiving the idea of carving the likenesses of famous
people into the Black Hills region of South Dakota in or-
der to promote tourism in the region. Robinson’s initial
idea was to sculpt the Needles; however, Gutzon Bor-
glum rejected the Needles site because of the poor quality
of the granite and strong opposition from Native Amer-
ican groups. They settled on the Mount Rushmore loca-
tion, which also has the advantage of facing southeast for
maximum sun exposure. Robinson wanted it to feature
western heroes like Lewis and Clark, Red Cloud,[5] and
Buffalo Bill Cody,[6] but Borglum decided the sculpture
should have a more national focus and chose the four pres-
idents whose likenesses would be carved into the moun-
A model at the site depicting Mount Rushmore’s intended final
tain. After securing federal funding through the enthu- design
siastic sponsorship of “Mount Rushmore’s great political
patron”, U.S. Senator Peter Norbeck,[7] construction on
the memorial began in 1927, and the presidents’ faces
were completed between 1934 and 1939. Upon Gutzon
1 History
Borglum’s death in March 1941, his son Lincoln Bor-
glum took over construction. Although the initial con- See also: Construction of Mount Rushmore
cept called for each president to be depicted from head to
waist, lack of funding forced construction to end in late Originally known to the Lakota Sioux as “The Six
October 1941.[8] Grandfathers”,[9] the mountain was renamed after
Mount Rushmore has become an iconic symbol of the Charles E. Rushmore, a prominent New York lawyer,
United States, and has appeared in works of fiction, and during an expedition in 1885. At first, the project of
has been discussed or depicted in other popular works. It carving Rushmore was undertaken to increase tourism in
attracts over two million people annually.[1] the Black Hills region of South Dakota. After long nego-
tiations involving a Congressional delegation and Presi-
dent Calvin Coolidge, the project received Congressional
approval. The carving started in 1927, and ended in 1941
with no fatalities.[11]
As Six Grandfathers, the mountain was part of the route
that Lakota leader Black Elk took in a spiritual journey


and the face of Abraham Lincoln was dedicated on September 17. Mountain in Georgia. He chose Mount Rushmore. a process where work- ers drill holes close together. age group winner in a 1934 competition. In a canyon behind the carved faces is a chamber. along with Washington. Following a series of Between October 4. no workers died during the carving. but was in disagreement with the and a new figure was sculpted to Washington’s left. removed by hand. and Bill Challis. His son. 1934. and (see section "Controversy" below). Originally. 60 foot (18 m) high carvings of U.000 t) of rock were blasted off the mountainside.[18] In total. a claim that is still dis. the National Park Service took Mount Rush- more under its jurisdiction. President George H. Julian Spotts helped with the project by improving its infrastructure. U. but a rider was passed on an appropriations bill requiring federal funds be used to finish only those heads that had already been started at that time. The Sculptor’s Studio — a display of unique plaster mod- els and tools related to the sculpting — was built in 1939 under the direction of Borglum. Constitution. Among American Abraham Lincoln to represent the first 130 years of settlers.[23] The original plan was to perform the carvings in granite pillars known as the Needles. However. dent William Andrew Burkett was selected as the college- imum exposure to the sun. a grander loca.[13] In 1933.32. Borglum died from an embolism in March 1941.[14] cially dedicated Mount Rushmore. American history. the face of Theodore Roosevelt was dedicated. Sugarloaf Mountain. and that es- ing Mount Rushmore. a mas. and October 31. A 500-word essay sculpting. Borglum real.[20] In 1939.[22] Un- usually for a project of such size. the United States zon Borglum and 400 workers[16] sculpted the colossal asserted control over the area. 1937.[21] but insuf- ficient funding forced the carving to end. Lincoln Borglum. Borglum had been involved to appear in the area at Washington’s right.[15] .[12] the process of “honeycombing”. and Borglum because of their role in preserving the Republic Keystone Cliffs. the entire project cost US$989. cut two Republicans and one Democrat be portrayed. Mount Rushmore was listed on the ized that the eroded Needles were too thin to support National Register of Historic Places. Theodore Roosevelt. he had the tram upgraded so it could reach the top of Mount Rushmore for the ease of workers. 1927. On October 15. The face of Thomas Jefferson was dedicated in 1936.[14] officials there. and expanding its territory. W. It was named Mount Rushmore dur. giving the history of the United States by Nebraska stu- tion. Bush offi- National Memorial Commission on March 3. These presidents were selected by tain. In 1937. so the work on the Jefferson figure was dynamited. work there was begun. 1966. Louisiana Purchase. about 450. it was planned that the figures would be carved from head to waist. Gut- military campaigns from 1876 to 1878.[14][17] The carving of Mount ing a prospecting expedition by Charles Rushmore.”[14] Congress authorized the Mount Rushmore 1973. the peak was known variously as Cougar Moun. For exam- ple. Robinson persuaded sculptor Gutzon Borglum to travel to the Black Hills region to ensure the carv. Borglum had also planned a massive panel in the shape of the Louisiana Purchase commemorating in eight-foot-tall gilded let- ters the Declaration of Independence. Slaughterhouse Mountain. David Rushmore involved the use of dynamite. followed by Swanzey (husband of Carrie Ingalls). Borglum said upon see. Thomas Jefferson. partly because it faced southeast and enjoyed max. the rock was found to be unsuit- sive bas-relief memorial to Confederate leaders on Stone able.2 1 HISTORY that culminated at Black Elk Peak. Anthony. presidents George puted on the basis of the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie Washington. but after the in sculpting the Confederate Memorial Carving.000 short tons (410. Washington’s face had been completed and was dedicated.992. By July 4.S.[19] In 1924.[20][24] In 1991. allowing small pieces to be Historian Doane Robinson conceived the idea for Mount Rushmore in 1923 to promote tourism in South Dakota. and seven other territorial acquisi- tions from Alaska to Texas to the Panama Canal Zone. “America will march along that say was placed on the Entablature on a bronze plate in skyline. 1925.S.[25] President Coolidge insisted that.[17] Construction of the Mount Rushmore monument In total. 1941. continued the project. a bill was introduced in Congress to add the head of civil-rights leader Susan B. The image of Thomas Jefferson was originally intended ing could be accomplished.

and Aerial NW direction view of Mount Rushmore National Memo- the history of the U. The panels include the text of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitu- tion. skunk. entrance-way to a planned “Hall of Records". bald eagle. and American bison. bobcat. and violet. Alfred Kärcher GmbH. badger. the vault was installed in 1998. mule deer. using pressurized water at over 200 °F (93 °C). including songbirds. There is The flora and fauna of Mount Rushmore are similar to also a wide variety of wildflowers. bighorn sheep. Due to budget constraints. only hawk. The striped in 1998. and the cottonwood. on longnose dace and the brook trout. Other trees include the bur 2 Ecology oak. oc. surround most of the monument. a German manufac. and The area receives about 18 inches (460 mm) of precipi- woodpeckers. pro- viding shade from the sun. support fish such as the is not regularly cleaned to remove lichens. Maintenance of the frog also inhabit the area. 3 Side view of George Washington from rocky terrain at Mount Rushmore The Black Hills opposite Mount Rushmore.not indigenous to the region. the memorial the two streams in the memorial. yellow- [28][29] completion of extensive visitor facilities and sidewalks bellied marmot. elk. Entrance to the site only 70 feet (21 m) into the rock. such as a Visitor Center. including especially those of the rest of the Black Hills region of South the snapdragon. coniferous trees.[33] tain.S. which later escaped. containing a vault with sixteen porcelain enamel panels. However.[26] red squirrel. the Black Hills are indigenous to the region. approximately five percent of the plant species found in casionally making nesting spots in the ledges of the moun. least chipmunk. elevations. Mountain goats are July 8. The chamber was created as the rial from a helicopter. Rushmore are descendents of a tribe that Canada gifted to [28][31][32] conducted a free cleanup operation which lasted several Custer State Park in 1924. mainly the ponderosa pine. [27] weeks. Grizzly Bear Brook and Starling Basin Brook. along with several species memorial requires mountain climbers to monitor and seal of snake. plant life becomes sparser. Those living near Mount turer of pressure washing and steam cleaning machines. nuthatches. Towards higher Dakota.[32] However. animal and plant life. and meadowlark fly around Mount Rushmore. and northern leopard [30] Museum.[28] tation on average per year. and the Presidential Trail. Nine species of shrubs grow near Mount Rushmore. sunflower. At lower elevations. beaver. raccoon. the Black Hills spruce. Smaller birds. biographies of the four presidents and Borglum. Birds including the turkey vulture. western chorus frog. 2005. enough to support abundant Terrestrial mammals include the mouse. porcupine. the Lincoln Borglum chorus frog. inhabit the surrounding pine forests. Ten years of redevelopment work culminated with the coyote. cracks annually. Trees and other plants help to .

Orographic lift causes brief but strong afternoon thun- derstorms during the summer. which had proved and other sediments during the Cambrian. granite dust and white lead). showing the full size of the mountain and the scree of rocks from the sculpting and construction. thus explaining the light-colored The ongoing conservation of the site is overseen by the streaks on the foreheads of the presidents. 2. Remaining ineffective at providing water resistance (components in- buried throughout the Paleozoic. the workers also had the advantage of sunlight for most of the day.242 ft or 2. Recent pine beetle infestations have threat- ened the forest.447 people visited the park. that serve to clear forest debris.[36] The Black Hills area was uplifted as an elon.[39] The two wettest months of the year are May and June.1 Geology 3. providing watering mountain is composed of smooth.207 m).[37] Subsequent erosion stripped the In 1998. fine-grained granite. Some schist does remain and can be seen as the accuracy of 3 mm. itally recorded using a terrestrial laser scanning method- The tallest mountain in the region is Black Elk Peak ology in 2009 as part of the international Scottish Ten (7.[14] The cates that forest fires occur in the ponderosa forests sur. In addition. A mod- again during the Laramide orogeny around 70 million ern silicone replacement was used. meaning certain plant life in the area can withstand a low temperature of no less than −20 °F (−29 °C).[1] In the 1950s memorial is carved on the northwest margin of the Black and 1960s. stones like sandstone and The durable granite erodes only 1 inch (25 mm) every limestone help to hold groundwater. tographed people in the world. Dikes. US National Park Service. creating aquifers. Most events have been ground fires east.000 years.dust. It is inside a USDA Plant Hardiness Zone of 5a. spots for animals. and Mount Rushmore is the state’s top tourist attraction.[43] In Mount Rushmore is largely composed of granite. disguised with granite years ago. The rock of the dam up water that is flowing downhill.[36] Coarse grained pegmatite dikes are associated 5 Conservation with the granite intrusion of Black Elk Peak and are visibly lighter in color. gated geologic dome.185. they were re-exposed clude linseed oil. Siouxan Benjamin Black Elk was the “Fifth Elk Peak granite batholith in the Black Hills of South Face of Mount Rushmore”. providing a record of unprecedented resolution . well drained alfisol soils of very gravelly loam (Mocmount) to silt loam (Buska) texture.4 5 CONSERVATION control surface runoff.[35] The area is a climax community. seeps. He became one of the most pho- Black Hills region are also evident at Mount Rushmore.[45] Physical efforts to conserve The Black Hills granites were exposed to erosion during the monument have included replacement of the sealant the Neoproterozoic. Tourism is South Dakota’s second-largest industry. thus was more than sturdy enough to sup- A study of the fire scars present in tree ring samples indi. but were later buried by sandstone applied originally by Gutzon Borglum.6 billion years ago.[40] 4 Tourism Mount Rushmore.[29] 3. port the sculpture and its long-term exposure. posing for photographs with Dakota.2 Soils The Mount Rushmore area is underlain by brown to dark 3 Geography grayish brown. and because it faces the south- fires are not common. The site has been subsequently dig- darker material just below the sculpture of Washington. electronic monitoring devices were installed to granite of the overlying sediments and the softer adjacent track movement in the topology of the sculpture to an schist.[34] 10. Borglum selected Mount Rush.745 m) above sea rounding Mount Rushmore around every 27 years.[44] The batholith magma intruded into the pre-existing mica schist rocks during the Proterozoic.project. so the geologic formations of the heart of the thousands of tourists. mountain’s height of 5. and springs help to more as the site for several reasons. The 2012. Large level[4] made it suitable.725 feet (1.3 Climate Mount Rushmore has a humid continental climate (Dwb in the Koeppen climate classification).[38] 3. 1.

Among the participants were young activists. Because of its fame as a monument. Lame Deer said the staff formed a symbolic shroud over the pres- idents’ faces “which shall remain dirty until the treaties concerning the Black Hills are fulfilled. The Foundation has rejected offers of federal funds. shown the support of Lakota chiefs. climactic chase scene in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 movie even within the Native American community. and Mount Rushmore commemorative stamp of 1952 that the four presidents are “only one avenue and only one focus. grandpar- ents. or parodied. How.”[47] In 2004. the first Native American superintendent of the park.”[48] Main article: Mount Rushmore in popular culture The Crazy Horse Memorial is being constructed else- where in the Black Hills to commemorate the famous Na. 5 7 In popular culture Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) and Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) dangle precariously from the sculpture of George Washington in the 1959 film North by Northwest Laser scan data showing Abraham Lincoln. was appointed. memorial was also famously used as the location of the ever. Members of the American Indian Movement led an occupation of the monument in 1971.[49] North by Northwest. has been depicted in multiple places in popular culture. who planted a prayer staff atop the mountain. the Crazy Horse Memorial with faces removed. Mount Rushmore tive American leader as a response to Mount Rushmore. children and Lakota holy man John Fire Lame Deer. This data was made accessible online to be freely used by the wider community to aid further interpretation and public access.[46] 6 Controversy Mount Rushmore is controversial among Native Ameri- cans because the United States seized the area from the Lakota tribe after the Great Sioux War of 1876. The Treaty of Fort Laramie from 1868 had previously granted the Black Hills to the Lakota in perpetuity. It is intended to be larger than Mount Rushmore and has It is often depicted as a cover for a secret location. or added. this memorial is likewise the subject of controversy. . naming it “Mount Crazy Horse”. Gerard Baker. modified. and accuracy to inform the conservation of the site. Baker has stated that he will open up more “avenues of interpretation”.

gov. November 26.[50] On January 2. Re- trieved October 22. Retrieved January 3. PBS. 2007 [26] “Hall of Records”.6 10 REFERENCES 8 Legacy and commemoration [14] Carving History (October 2. uary 4. Archived from the original [31] “Nature & Gilbert C. Retrieved April 7. The American Presidency Project. Sally.. [34] Nature & Science. Retrieved December Network. 2010.. New York: World Al- [25] “George Bush: Remarks at the Dedication Ceremony manac Education Group.Flora and Fauna”. Notes [21] Mount Rushmore National Memorial. 1991. Rush- more National Memorial in the Black Hills of South [16] “Carving History”.. Retrieved January 11. places. Retrieved January 4. Rushmore — presidents on the rocks”. Retrieved October 3. National Park Service.60 SD Web Traveler. January 4.” American Art. 2012. 1952. Laura R. [8] “Mount Rushmore”. the U. 2016. a 26-cents airmail stamp February 22. The World [24] “Text of 1934 Essay . National Park Service. Archived [6] “Making Mount Rushmore | Mount Rushmore”. 9 See also [18] “Honeycombing process explained from”. Post Office issued the [15] Fite. Ahmann. Almanac and Book of Facts 2004. (2004). 2007. Arnold. William A. ber 12. [28] “Enjoy Wildlife. July 3. Retrieved April 1. Peakbagger. National Park Service. Retrieved March 17. McMeen. 2006. “Mount Rushmore. Retrieved Jan- Dakota.” (PDF). Archived from the original on Decem- 2. 1/2. PBS. 2006. 2009. 1974. 2014. PBS. 2008. 2016. National Park Ser- [10] Belanger. 2002). South Dakota for Idea. [3] McGeveran. VA: Gannett the Lakota had called 'The Six Grandfathers. . nps.. on May 14. Outdoor- 2005. 2004. 2006. June 14. Ranger!. p. John (April 21. from the original on October 11. 2006. Allison. nps. 2014. [11] “Mount Rushmore National Memorial Frequently Asked [32] “Mount Rushmore. 2013. Retrieved June 7. Retrieved July 20. [9] “Untold Stories Discussion Guide: Baker and Mount Rushmore” (PDF). South Dakota (November 1. [51] depicting the monument was also issued.Animals”. [33] “Nature & Science – Plants”. Inc. 2014. American Park Questions”. December 6. 2. 2005. [22] Mount Rushmore National Memorial.History of the United States” (PDF). Retrieved Dakota. et al. American Experience – TV’s Most Watched History Series. NPS. Retrieved March 20. The National Parks: America’s Best [29] Freeman. Retrieved March 13. 2007. [23] Mount Rushmore National Memorial. the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the Mt.S. NPS. Melissa. 2013. 2012. ISBN 0-88687-910-8. [5] '!. pp. Retrieved October 31. Dakota”. episode 5x08 “Mount Rushmore”. 2007. Tourism in South [1] “Park Statistics”. 2006. May 10. 2006. Archived from the original on August 1. Mount Rushmore – a rocky outcropping Tourists”.com. Mount Rushmore (May 2003). Retrieved January 11. 2010. • List of colossal sculpture in situ Retrieved March 20. American Experience. of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South [4] Mount Rushmore. 142–67. Retrieved March 19. Retrieved March 17. “Mt. Retrieved March 17. [13] “People & Events: The Carving of Stone Mountain”. National Park Service. National Park Service. 2004. • [19] “Geology Fieldnotes”.. 2014. the sky. [2] Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Retrieved July 4. On August 11. Kennedy. 2004). “Patriarchy Fixed in Stone: Gutzon Bor- glum’s 'Mount Rushmore'. [7] "Biography:Senator Peter Norbeck”. Ian A. 2010. Tysons Corner. 2006. National Park Service.Groundwater. (Winter – Spring. Vol. July 11. and the four directions [30] “Amphibians”. Oh. the standard scholarly study. 2006. ington Post. Retrieved November 1. USA Today.Safely. Inc. the earth. vice. Jr. 1991). 10 References [20] American Experience “Timeline: Mount Rushmore” (2002). December 6.' named for Company. [12] Keystone Area Historical Society Keystone Characters. American Experi- [27] “For Mount Rushmore. 2001. National Park Service. 2006. National Park Ser- vice. 2010. An Overdue Face Wash”. Mount Rushmore National Memorial web site. [17] Albert Boime. June 14. Wash- ence: Mount Rushmore. No. Retrieved January 4. Mary. 2010. 2005. PBS. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 2004). ISBN 0- Mount Rushmore Memorial commemorative stamp on 9646798-5-X. 2006. Retrieved March 17.. 5. National Park Service.

2013. Jesse.002 Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Re- trieved January 27. 265–283. 2014. (Summer. 2004. National Park Service. APN Media. Puts the creation of the monu- ment into a historical and cultural context. Judith H. [43] “Popular South Dakota Attractions >>South Dakota”. Retrieved July 1. Oh. pp. New York: PublicAffairs. • Taliaferro. Depart- ment of the Interior. National Park Service. South Dakota History. Retrieved January 27. Re. June 23. Washing- [39] “USDA Hardiness Zone Finder”. Paha Sapa. 1933–1940”. The National Gardening ton: United States Department of the Interior Association. 2015. [36] Geologic Activity.E. “Les Visages de l'Amérique. Mare et Martin.”. 2013. 2013. 2. Re- [41] “Monthly Averages for Mount Rushmore Natl Memorial. in the Year _les-visages-de-l-amerique [38] http://casoilresource. John (Fire) and Richard Erdoes. Indiancountrytoday. Retrieved July 8. 2014 (ISBN 9782849341605). U. Retrieved March 21.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion. National Gardening Association. Retrieved January 27. Ranger!. 7 [35] Nature & Science. James R. The Weather Channel. 2006. 2008. Retrieved March • Official website 17. New York. Lame Deer Seeker of Visions. 2010. rial at Wikimedia Commons Vol. Matthew (Summer 2002). Lou Del Bianco.lawr. . Immaterial “Producing Patriotic Inspiration at Mount • Media related to Mount Rushmore National Memo- Rushmore. 2013. 2013. Cabinet Magazine. 289. [44] Kilen Ode. influence about American political March 16. Mount Rushmore: An Icon Reconsid- ered New York: Nation Books.mareetmartin. No. • “Caring For A Monumental Sculpture” (PDF). John. ISBN 0-89487-042-4. [40] “Weather History”. Rushmore single”. National Park Service. evolution. Paperback ISBN 0-671-55392-5 [50] “3c Mt. Simon and Schuster. Jeanne (1984). 2013. [47] Matthew Glass. 2010. Rushmore. 14.ucdavis. 11 External links trieved July 8. Re. 2006). 2002. Archived from the • Dobrzynski. Archived from the original on August 8. New York. Further reading • Larner. French Study about the Four Presidents. “A Mon- original on July 6. • Mount Rushmore National Memorial travel guide [48] David Melmer (December 13. 2014. Arnaud. c2002. “The Six [42] “NOWData – NOAA Online Weather Data”. 1972. Retrieved January 3. 1982. uary 3.. trieved January 27. [51] Scotts United States Stamp catalogue. umental Achievement”. http://www. trieved April 1. Na- [45] “Caring For A Monumental Sculpture” (PDF). • “Making Mount Rushmore”. • Coutant. [49] Lame Deer. Life. Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Park Service. Retrieved January 3. 1981. Retrieved presidency. 2014. 2013. C. 2004). p. Retrieved January 27. 2013. Great White Fathers: The Story of the Obsessive Quest to Create Mount Rush- • The National Parks: Index 2001–2003. Wall Street Journal. (July 15. “Historic changes from Wikivoyage for Mount Rushmore”. 1994). Retrieved Jan. Scott’s Pub- lishing Company. ISBN 9781586482053. [37] Irvin. 2006. South Dakota Historical Society Press. • “Luigi Del Bianco: chief stone carver on Mount southdakota. National tional Park Service. CyArk. [46] “Mount Rushmore National Memorial”. 2014.Forests. 62. Great Plains Gallery (2001). Retrieved July 8. les constructeurs d'une démocratie fédérale”. National Grandfathers. • Buckingham. SD”.

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