Mount Rushmore, the President's Mountain, is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It was the brainchild of Doane Robinson, known as the “Father of Mount Rushmore.” His goal was to create an attraction that would draw people from all over the country to his state. Robinson contacted Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor who was working on the monument at Stone Mountain, Georgia. Borglum met with Robinson during 1924 and 1925. He was the one who identified Mount Rushmore as a perfect location for a grand monument. Robinson worked with John Boland, President Calvin Coolidge, Congressman William Williamson, and Senator Peter Norbeck to gain support in Congress and the funding to proceed.
Congress agreed to match up to $250,000 of funding for the project and created the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Commission. Work began on the project. By 1933, the Mount Rushmore project became part of the National Park Service. Borglum did not like having the NPS oversee the construction. However, he continued to work on the project until his death in 1941. The monument was deemed complete and ready for dedication on October 31, 1941.
Facts About Mount Rushmore
- The four presidents carved in the mountain are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
- Thomas Jefferson was originally started on George Washington's right. However, after 18 months they realized that it was not working. Jefferson's face was dynamited off and carved on the other side.
- It took 14 years to complete Mount Rushmore.
- No one died while building Mount Rushmore.
- The sculpture cost $989,992.32 to build.
- There is a cave behind the carving called the "Hall of Records." It was intended to house the story of Mount Rushmore but was never completed due to lack of funding.