Stunning Mount Rushmore Facts: The Mountains Of South Dakota | Kidadl


Stunning Mount Rushmore Facts: The Mountains Of South Dakota

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

The Black Hills of South Dakota are known to showcase the faces of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt.

The images of these men from American history have been sculpted on the granite face of Mount Rushmore. Millions of visitors every year visit this structure for the engineering marvel it is.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a monument that many Americans feel proud about. This mountain is called Tȟuŋkášila Šákpe, or Six Grandfathers by the Lakota of the Great Sioux Nation. The monument is located in the Black Hills which is near Keystone in South Dakota. American sculptor Gutzon Borglum designed this monument and oversaw the project of the sculpture between 1927-1941. His son, Lincoln Borglum, helped the sculptor in the project. Four presidents of the United States were chosen for the sculpture, George Washington for the birth of the nation, Thomas Jefferson for the growth of the nation, Theodore Roosevelt for the development of the nation, and Abraham Lincoln for the preservation of the nation. All of these sculptures are carved into the mountain and are 60 ft (18.2 m) high. The memorial park covers an area of 1278 ac (517.1 ha). The elevation of the Black Hills mountain is 5725 feet (1745 m) above sea level. The federal funding to sponsor the project was done by the U.S. Senator from South Dakota, Peter Norbeck. Construction of the sculpture started in 1927 and the faces of the presidents were completed between 1934 and 1939. The lead sculptor died in March 1941 and after that, his son Lincoln took over the project. It was first planned that the president should have the body from head to waist, but due to lack of funds, the construction ended on October 31, 1941. Administration of the site was assumed by the U.S. National Park Service in 1933.

Mount Rushmore is also known as the 'Shrine of Democracy' and this monument sees more than two million visitors each year.

History Of Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is part of the National Park Service and is the brainchild of Doane Robinson.

Doane Robinson is known as the 'Father of Mount Rushmore' and it was his idea to create this magnificent memorial. This attraction was made to bring people from all over the country to the state. Robinson then contacted American sculptor Borglum to make this sculpture while he was working on the sculpture in the Stone Mountain of Georgia. However, he never finished the sculpture in Stone Mountain and left on bad terms. Augustus Lukeman, another sculptor was called to finish the sculpture in Georgia. Robinson wanted the sculpture of people like Lewis and Clark, American West heroes and their expedition guide Sacagawea, Oglala Lakota Chief Crazy Horse, Oglala Lakota Chief Red Cloud, and Buffalo Bill Cody. However, Gutzon Borglum wanted the sculptures to have more appeal and later chose the four presidents. Borglum met Robinson in 1924 and 1925. Borglum identified Mount Rushmore as the right location for the memorial. It was chosen as the mountain is made of granite which erodes slowly and the mountain faces southeast which makes the mountain shine when the sun rises every day. Robinson took the help of president Calvin Coolidge, John Boland, Sen. Peter Norbeck, and Rep. William Williamson to process the funding. Congress made the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Commission and funded the project with $250,000. The project became part of the National Park Service by 1933. Until Borglum's death in 1941, he continued working on the memorial. The memorial was completed on October 31, 1941.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial was carved on land deemed sacred by the indigenous people living in the area. Many people still consider the construction of the monument in Mount Rushmore a desecration in the history of Black Hills.

Mount Rushmore had four presidents carved in the mountain. Following are the reasons why these four presidents were chosen to be the face of Mount Rushmore. George Washington was the first president of the United States and he was the face of the foundation of democracy in the country. Thomas Jefferson expanded the nation greatly and he was the author of the Declaration of Independence. Theodore Roosevelt was known for his conservation efforts in the country and represented industrial development in the nation. Abraham Lincoln represented the preservation of the nation as he was the president of the United States during the Civil War.

Geography Of Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a colossal sculpture located in the Black Hills of the southeastern part of South Dakota in the U.S.

The memorial lies around 25 mi (40 km) on the southwest side of Rapid City, around 10 mi (16 km) on the northeast side of Custer, and north of Custer State Park. The sculpture of each president is 60 ft (18.2 m) high. Mount Rushmore was also known by the names of Sugarloaf Mountain, Cougar Mountain, Slaughterhouse Mountain, and Keystone Cliffs, among many others. The mountain stands 5725 feet (1745 m) above sea level.

To carve out the sculptures, over 450,000 t (408233.1 mt) of granite had to be removed and the sculptor used dynamite to remove 90% of the granite. Mount Rushmore was carved thereafter and now it is known all over the world. Even movies were shot here as can be seen throughout history.

There was also a plan to construct a Hall of Records in a room just behind the head of Lincoln. This Hall of Records was planned in a way that the public would be able to access it through staircases from the foot of Mount Rushmore. The Hall of Records would have had many important documents and the room would have been decorated with mosaics however, due to lack of funding, the plan to make the Hall of Records was discontinued and Congress wanted the sculptor to focus on the sculptures of Mount Rushmore instead.

Tourism At Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore is one of the top tourist attractions in the state of South Dakota.

Tourism is the second-largest industry in the state and it has been recorded that about two million tourists visit this monument each year. In 2012 itself, there were  2,185,447 visitors that visited the park. The site is free for everyone and the site is open all days of the year except Christmas. From 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., you can visit this magnificent mountain and rejoice in the history of the United States. Any day of the year, you can visit the site if there are no weather constraints.

Go in the morning as the monument faces east and the view of the sun rays falling on the sculpture will surely make your day.

Mount Rushmore is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country where tourists from all over the world come to learn the history of the place.

Conservation Of Mount Rushmore

The National Park Service oversees the conservation of Mount Rushmore now.

To conserve the monument, the sealant has been replaced that was originally added by Gutzon Borglum to the cracks of the monument. The sealant was ineffective against rain damage. The sealant used by Borglum had granite dust, linseed oil, and white lead. However, the replaced sealant is made of modern silicon which is disguised with granite dust. There have been many conservative measures in effect like using electronic monitoring devices and using a terrestrial laser scanning method to scan the monument.


Who is the fifth face on Mount Rushmore?

There was a local Lakota Sioux leader named Benjamin Black Elk in the '50s and the '60s. He was known as the fifth face on Mount Rushmore as he posed for photographs with the tourists in front of the mountain in his native attire. He was the son of Black Elk, a medicine man present at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

What is Mount Rushmore a symbol of?

Mount Rushmore is considered a symbol of America. Mount Rushmore is deemed a symbol of hope and freedom for people from all backgrounds and all cultures. The cultures and backgrounds that make the United States can be seen in the mountain and all the nearby areas of Black Hills.

Why was Mount Rushmore built?

Doane Robinson, the historian, wanted to build this sculpture to promote tourism in the state. He chose Mount Rushmore as the mountain faced southeast and got the most exposure to the sun.

Why is Teddy on Mt Rushmore?

Theodore Roosevelt, or Teddy, worked for the rights of the common working man and worked to end large corporate conglomerates. He represented the development of the country.

How many people died building Mount Rushmore?

About 400 men worked on the carving of the memorial. It is really astonishing to know that no one died during its construction.

Was Mount Rushmore built on sacred land?

It is built on sacred Native American land. This is the reason for a lot of controversies related to the monument.

Written By
Ritwik Bhuyan

<p>A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?