The famous Mount Rushmore is a national monument located in the state of South Dakota, on which are carved the faces of four US presidents: Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson.
Each of them put a lot of effort into the prosperity of America, so it was decided to build such an original monument in the rock in their honor. Surely, everyone saw a photo of this architectural work of art or contemplated it in films. Every year 2 million tourists visit it to look at the unique symbol of the United States.
Mount Rushmore Memorial Construction
The monument began to be erected in 1927 with the support of the wealthy businessman Charles Rushmore, who donated $ 5,000 – at that time it was a lot of money. In fact, they named the mountain in his honor for his generosity.
If you’re wondering who builds the memorial, then it was an American sculptor John Gutzon Borglum. However, the very idea of building bas-reliefs of 4 presidents belongs to John Robinson, who initially wanted the faces of cowboys and Indians on the mountain, but Borglum was able to persuade him to portray the presidents. Construction work was completed in 1941.
Every day, the workers overcame 506 steps in order to climb to the top of the mountain. Explosives were used to detach large pieces of rock. During the period of work, about 360,000 tons of rock were removed. The heads themselves were cut with jackhammers.
It took 14 workers fourteen years to portray 4 heads on Mount Rushmore, which are 18 meters high, and the total area of the monument reaches 517 hectares. It is very sad that the sculptor couldn’t see with his own eyes the final version of his creation, since he died shortly before, and his son finished the construction.
Why these presidents?
The sculptor Gutzon Borglum, creating the monument, “laid” a deep meaning in it – he wanted to remind people of the most important rules, without which no civilized nation can exist. These rules and principles were guided in their time by the rulers of the United States, depicted on the mountain.
Thomas Jefferson was the creator of the Declaration of Independence. George Washington was immortalized for making American society democratic. Abraham Lincoln was able to abolish slavery in the United States of America. Theodore Roosevelt built the Panama Canal, thanks to which it significantly improved the country’s economy and created favorable conditions for business development.
- Residents of an Indian tribe called Lakota live near Mount Rushmore and consider it a sacred place. But the construction of the monument they considered vandalism.
- A similar memorial dedicated to the leader of the Indians called Crazy Horse was created nearby.
- A lot of films were shot near the mountain, among which the most popular are: “North through North-West”, “Superman 2”, “National Treasure: Book of Secrets”.
How to get to Mount Rushmore
Closest to the monument (at a distance of 36 km) is the airport in the city of Rapid City. There are no buses from the city to the sculpture, so you need to rent a car or hitchhike. The road along which you can reach the mountain is called Highway 16A – it in turn leads onto Highway 244, which leads directly to the memorial. It is also possible to reach the 244 highway via the US16 expressway.
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