Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Can you name the presidents carved on Mount
Carving started on the amazing Mount Rushmore
National Memorial in 1927. It continued for 14 years, with the help
of more than 350 people. The faces of four presidents are carved
into the mountainside: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham
Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.
At first, there was a suggestion to
carve famous western figures, people like Buffalo Bill, Lewis &
Clark, and Sacagawea. But a special group, a "commission,"
instead chose these presidents because they best represented the
"foundation, expansion and preservation" of the United
A sculptor named Gutzon Borglum was asked to
design Mount Rushmore. He chose the dramatic setting for this
sculpture in the Black Hills of South Dakota. He decided that the
best way to remove large pieces of rock from the mountain was to use
dynamite. He and his workers became skilled at carving Mount
Rushmore using carefully placed dynamite.
In fact, more than 90
percent of the mountain was carved by dynamite! The rest was
finished using air hammers. The faces of the presidents were
finished one by one, Washington in 1930, Jefferson in 1936, Lincoln
in 1937 and Roosevelt in 1939.
Today, Mount Rushmore is one of the most
recognized monuments in the United States, with more than 2.7
million visitors each year.
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