Mount Rushmore. Longevity provided by nature

Mount Rushmore. Longevity provided by nature

Mount Rushmore in the United States is home to the Presidents Memorial and a major tourist attraction for the great nation, which is located in South Dakota. It not only commemorates people who have done much for their country, but is also a historical value for the ages. It begins with a columned walkway that marks the states. The columns have the dates the state joined the United States, and there are their flags.

A bit of history

In the early twenties, publicist Doan Robinson, in order to bring as many tourists as possible to this state, gave an interesting idea to create a statue of personalities who became famous during the conquest of the Indians. Sculptor Hudson Borglum liked the idea and in the following year he came personally to inspect the proposed site for this project. He chose one of the mountains in the Black Hills, as the highest place here, but Borglum offered to cut in the rock famous figures – the four presidents of the United States, who did a lot for the good of the country, the historian agreed to the project.

Mount Rushmore. Longevity provided by nature - Photo 2

A bit of history

At first, permission was not given for the idea, but when it was granted, it turned out that there was not enough funding. Sponsors were hesitant, but President Coolidge provided the money. Borglum began work in 1927, in the first year of the war he died without completing the project, and hostilities prevented the safe execution of the project. The mountain was subdued with explosives and pneumatics, the surfaces were polished.

Why them?

George Washington, the first to assume the presidency, achieved independence from England. He became the father of a very young country, introducing democratic theses. This is the greatest of all personalities.

Thomas Jefferson was the third president, and he wrote the Declaration. He annexed Louisiana, taking it from the French republic in the early 19th century.

Mount Rushmore. Longevity provided by nature - Photo 3

Why them?

Abraham Lincoln became the 16th president, ended slavery, ruled the country wisely during a difficult time of conflict between Northerners and Southerners.

Theodore Roosevelt , twenty-sixth president, influenced the Panama Canal decision, secured working class rights.

About the memorial.

The faces of the presidents reach eighteen meters in height . Every day a lot of people come to the area to be photographed against the background of such a monument. You can take a tour of the Wild West and how the place was built . Near the trail of the presidents can be seen similar to the real Indian settlement. During the warmer months of the year there is the Sculptor’s Museum, where you can see not only the photos, but also the tools that were used in the construction, all of these things are carefully preserved. Viewing the memorial at night seems more interesting, because there is illumination by spotlights, in complete darkness against a starry sky looks amazing, it seems that all these presidents sternly look at the visitors.

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Mount Rushmore. Longevity provided by nature - Picture 4

By the way, the natural destruction of the stone in the rock is very small, but just in case there was a computer review. If suddenly the memorial is destroyed, these actions will help restore it to its former appearance.

There is no entrance fee to the memorial site, the fee is for parking. Nearby there is a store with souvenirs and catering restaurants.

This man-made landmark attracts sightseers and history buffs.

The 4 Faces of Mount Rushmore

The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is without a doubt one of the most famous landmarks in the United States – a tribute to the great American presidents, designed to preserve the memory of the country’s great history for centuries to come.Located in the Black Hills Mountains, South Dakota, the memorial attracts about three million people annually.

The author of the idea for the monument was local historian Doan Robinson; however, according to his original plan, the rock was to depict other personalities who influenced the formation and development of the country, such as the Indian chief Red Cloud, famous American pioneers.

But let’s talk more about everything …

Historian Doan Robinson is often called “the father of Mount Rushmore.” In 1923, to attract tourists to South Dakota, he first proposed creating monumental sculptures of Native American chief Red Cloud, American explorers Lewis and Clark, or other famous figures of the Wild West conquest era. Although Robinson was not the first American to express the idea of monumental sculptures. As early as 1849, Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton proposed carving a huge figure of Christopher Columbus in the Rocky Mountains.

Robinson shared his idea with sculptor Hudson Borglum, known for creating carved images in stone. Hudson agreed to come to the Black Hills in 1924, survey the area, and do an analysis to see if such a project was possible. The picturesque Black Hills area of South Dakota is often called “An Island on the Prairie” because the numerous granite hills are surrounded by vast expanses of open steppe. Borglum especially liked the southeast-facing Mount Rushmore, lit by the sun for most of the day. It was the tallest mountain in the surrounding area with solid granite rock.

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Borglum agreed to take part in the project on the condition that he create something bigger. He wanted to create a monument commemorating American history. And the best way to do that was to create sculptures of the country’s great political figures. The figures of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln were chosen. Robinson did not object. Implementing a huge project was no easy task. First, a permit must be obtained to work on the mountainside. A bill authorizing the use of federal lands for the monument was easily approved. A bill in the South Dakota state legislature encountered several obstacles in its path. Approved on only the third attempt, Governor Gunderson signed the legislation into law on March 5, 1925.

The project then ran into a funding problem. Months passed, and potential sponsors were in no hurry to part with their money. Environmentalists thought the project would disfigure the mountainside. Others questioned the ability of mere mortals to improve what Mother Nature had created.

The success of the project was aided by President Coolidge, who promised federal funding. The government provided initial funds of up to $250,000 and created the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Commission. Borglum began work in 1927 and continued for 14 years until his death in 1941. Mount Rushmore was transformed with dynamite at a cost of nearly $1,000,000, a huge sum of money for those days.

Why these four presidents on Mount Rushmore?

George Washington (1732-1799, the first president) led the struggle of the American colonies and achieved independence from Great Britain. In becoming the founder of the new country, he laid the foundations of American democracy. In importance, Washington is the most iconic figure in Mt.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, 3rd president), author of the Declaration of Independence. He acquired Louisiana from France in 1803 and annexed a number of other states, doubling the state’s territory.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, 16th president) preserved the unity of the state during the greatest test, the Civil War. He held the firm conviction that slavery must be ended.

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Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919, 26th president) was instrumental in the Panama Canal project. Known as the “destroyer of the trusts,” he went to extraordinary lengths to restrict the activities of large corporate monopolies and ensure the rights of the working class.

Borglum developed an effective and relatively inexpensive technology for removing large quantities of excess rock with explosives. Ninety percent of all rock was removed with charges of dynamite (approximately 450,000 tons). Dynamite was used until 7.5 to 15 cm of excess rock remained, which was then removed with pneumatic tools.Borglum created a model of the sculptures of the four presidents in a 1 to 12 ratio. One inch (2.54 cm) on the model equaled one foot (30.5 cm) on the rock. Workers substituted inches for feet and quickly determined the amount of rock they needed to remove.

Drillers used pneumatic tools to drill multiple holes next to each other, a technique known as “bee honeycomb.” The holes drilled close together loosened the granite, and the excess rock was removed without much effort. The surface was then polished using the same pneumatic tools with special cutting edges. The figure of George Washington was worked on first. The image of Thomas Jefferson began to be carved to the right of Washington. After two years of work, deep cracks appeared on the surface of Jefferson’s face. His image had to be destroyed and started anew on Washington’s left side. The statue of George Washington was unveiled on July 4, 1934. President Franklin Roosevelt unveiled the Thomas Jefferson statue in 1936. On September 17, 1937, the statue of Abraham Lincoln was unveiled to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution.

Theodore Roosevelt’s figure was unveiled in 1939. Night lighting of the memorial was installed the same year. Work on Mount Rushmore continued for another two years. In March 1941, Gutzon Borglum died unexpectedly, never having realized his dream of carving presidents from head to waist. A model of Borglum’s original dream can be seen in the sculptor’s workshop at the Memorial.

With Borglum’s death and the impending participation of the United States in World War II, the final work on Mount Rushmore came to an end. On October 31, 1941, the monument was declared complete. Despite the dangerous working conditions, not a single worker died during the 14 years of construction. The Mount Rushmore National Memorial became an iconic symbol of American history. Over the course of 14 years, the imposing granite slope of the mountain was transformed into the likeness of four great presidents of the United States. What seemed almost impossible became a reality.

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Today, Mount Rushmore is considered one of America’s most famous symbols.

Mount Rushmore is controversial among Native Americans for the following reasons. In 1868, the United States officially recognized the Black Hills as a Lakota Indian land, signing a peace treaty with them (“as long as rivers flow and grass grows and leaves appear on trees, this land will belong to the Indians”). But in 1874 gold was discovered in the Black Hills, and soon the United States government demanded that the Indians move to reservations. The Great Sioux War (1876-77) began and ended with the defeat of the Indians and their relocation to reservations. This is how the Native Americans lost their territory. There is a belief that the theme of racial supremacy is at the heart of the Memorial. On the mountainside are carved images of four presidents whose rule was characterized by the most active taking of land from Native Americans. In addition, the author of the monument, Borglum, was an active member of the Ku Klux Klan, an organization whose members asserted white supremacy over other races.

Interesting Facts Mount Rushmore is one of the monuments that can stand for centuries without exaggeration – the natural deterioration of the stone is only one inch in ten thousand years. Despite the longevity provided by nature itself, in 2010 a three-dimensional scan of the monument was conducted – this measure will restore its original appearance in case of unforeseen destruction.The mountain got its name after New York lawyer Charles Rushmore, who often visited it.Initially it was supposed that Jefferson’s image will be located to the right of Washington, but it turned out that the stone there is not suitable for such sculptures, and it had to be moved to another place.Size of stone presidents eyes is about three meters

Gutson Borglum began this project in 1927, when he was already 60 years old. Despite the fact that the sculpture was created for such a long time, it only cost $1 million. The carved faces are at an altitude of 1,676 meters above sea level. If a torso were attached to the head at this scale, the height of each figure would be about 142 meters. The height of each of the carved heads corresponds to the level of a 6-story building.

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If measured from top to chin, the height of each sculpture is as high as the Great Sphinx in Egypt. The width of each eye is about 3 m 30 cm, the mouth about 5 m 50 cm, and the length of each president’s nose is about 6 meters.

It was not easy to complete the monument. It required a great deal of experience and skill. Dynamite was needed to clear the large rocks. First, workers carved oval blocks that served as the basis for the heads. Then the specialists tore the rock a few centimeters from the actual measurements. Next, they used tools such as pneumatic hammers, sledgehammers, wedges, and nails to finally carve the contours of the heads. About 360,000 tons of rock was removed during this process.

– The visitor facilities at Mount Rushmore National Memorial are open year-round, seven days a week with the exception of December 25. The information center is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. from late May to early September and until 5 p.m. from October to April. Hours of operation are sometimes subject to change. The sculptor’s studio is open only during the warm season from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The lighting ceremony in the amphitheater begins at 9 p.m. Sculptures are lit 1-2 hours at night throughout the year. – There is no fee to enter the Mount Rushmore National Memorial grounds. Payment is required only for a parking space. – June, July and August are peak visitor times, with the busiest days being July 3 and 4. Best times to visit are September and October, or April and May. – There are catering facilities and a souvenir store on the grounds of the Memorial. Food outlets are limited in the winter. – Mount Rushmore faces southeast, the best time to view and photograph is early in the morning.

The nearest airport is in Rapid City, 36 km from Mount Rushmore National Memorial. From there, take Highway 16A first, then Highway 244. Or take U.S. 16 (Route 16) toward Keystone and then Highway 244 to Mount Rushmore. The City of Rapid City Memorial does not serve public transportation.

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