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The Story Behind Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore (neighborhoods.org@Flickr)

It was the idea of a South Dakota historian who wanted to attract tourists to the state. His plan was to sculpt the images of four of the country’s favorite presidents into the side of Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills National Forest.

Work began in 1927, and it took 12 years before the complete project was done.

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum was hired, and he began with the image of George Washington. It took seven years before the first one was done in 1934.

Borglum next worked on the image of Thomas Jefferson, to the right of Washington, but it became so badly cracked that the work had to be dynamited off. As a result, Jefferson ended up on the left of Washington, and that image was dedicated in 1936.

Lincoln was finished a year later and finally Teddy Roosevelt completed the project in 1939. The entire project cost $1 million.

Borglum continued working on Mount Rushmore and had plans to carve some type of history of the United States when he died in 1941.

  • Each head is as tall as a six-story building.
  • The president’s noses are 20 feet long.
  • Their mouths are 18 feet across.
  • Their eyes are 11 feet wide.
  • Mount Rushmore is mainly granite and erodes only one inch every 10,000 years.

But it was today in 1927 when work began on Mount Rushmore.

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