Dedicated 75 years ago this month, mount rushmore was intended by its creator, gutzon Borglum, to celebrate not only these four presidents but also the nation’s unprecedented greatness. “this colossus is our mark,” he wrote with typical bombast.
Why Was Mount Rushmore Made?
Mount Rushmore is one of the most iconic monuments in the United States. It is a sculpture carved into the granite face of the Black Hills of South Dakota. It features the faces of four American presidents—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. But why was Mount Rushmore made?
The idea to carve Mount Rushmore was conceived in 1923 by South Dakota state historian Doane Robinson. Robinson hoped to create a monument to draw more people to the Black Hills region. He envisioned a sculpture of essential figures from the history of the United States. After much debate, the four presidents were chosen for their essential roles in forming the United States.
The actual sculpting of Mount Rushmore began in 1927 and was completed in 1941. The project was funded largely by the federal government, but contributions from the South Dakota state government and local companies were also important. Carving the monument was overseen by the famous sculptor Gutzon Borglum, who worked with his son Lincoln Borglum.
Carving the 60-foot-high faces of the four presidents was a monumental undertaking. It took 400 workers and used dynamite and other tools to carve out the faces from the granite mountain.