Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota | Photo Credit: Pixabay - TheDigitalArtist

Mount Rushmore has long been a famed American landmark. Its large sculpted depiction of four United States presidents has been observed since the 1930s. Before it was known as an American icon, learn about its history as the “The Six Grandfathers”.

Long before Mount Rushmore was chiseled with the faces of four United States presidents, the mountain was cherished by Lakota Sioux people who once lived in the region. They called the mountain “The Six Grandfathers”.

After the United States staked their claim on the land, the mountain was referred to as “Sugarloaf Mountain”. When the idea for Mt. Rushmore came about in the 1920s, the controversial decision had some opposition from the native peoples of the land.

Doane Robinson was a local historian in South Dakota and wanted to increase tourism to the desolate state. He spoke with Gutzon Borglum, a sculptor, convincing him to move to the region and start the carvings. Borglum had previously done the “Stone Mountain” sculpting in Georgia, near Atlanta.

Construction did not start until 1927 and was not completed until 1941. With over 400 workers tasked with creating this massive sculpture, Borglum led them on this huge project. When Gutzon passed away in 1941, his son Lincoln tried to take over the project. However, funding for Mountain Rushmore soon ceased and the project was wrapped up. Originally, the four presidents were to be depicted from head to waist.

Today, the heads of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln look out onto the horizon from the edge of the mountain. Over 2 million people each year come to witness this American landmark.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota
Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota | Photo Credit: Pixabay – dassel

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is located at 13000 SD Highway 244 in Keystone, South Dakota.

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