Jul 26, 2015

mount rushmore

Every year, the many visitors to Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota draw inspiration from the colossal portraits of four outstanding presidents of the United States:  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.  Gutzon Borglum carved his gigantic Shrine of Democracy Sculpture into ancient granite high on the southeast face of Mount Rushmore “in commemoration of the foundation, preservation, and continental expansion of the United States.”  The faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt are about 60 feet high, and the grouping extends approximately 185 feet along the crest of Mount Rushmore.  Dark ponderosa pines and other evergreens set off the stark white sculpture.  Added at the time of the Bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence in 1976, a flag-lined formal Avenue of Flags creates an impressive approach.

In 1923, South Dakota State Historian Doane Robinson came up with an idea for attracting tourists to the State.  Robinson envisioned shaping a cluster of tall thin granite peaks called the Needles into statues of explorers and Indian leaders.  The Needles stand where the Black Hills rise from the plains as a gateway to the Rocky Mountains and the West.  In 1924, Robinson wrote sculptor Gutzon Borglum about his idea.  Borglum telegraphed back his enthusiastic support.

Source:  Mount Rushmore National Memorial South Dakota