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Carving The Monument


Borglum also proposed that the four heads in the sculpture symbolize the first 150 years of the United States: Washington to represent the country’s founding; Jefferson, its expansion across the continent; Roosevelt, its development domestically and as a global power; and Lincoln, its preservation through the ordeal of civil war.

Between October 4, 1927, and October 31, 1941, Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers sculpted the colossal 60-foot-high (18 m) carvings of United States Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln…

FDR at the formal dedication of Mt. Rushmore

Carving the iconic Mount Rushmore, 1927-1941

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Auntie Analogue August 3, 2020, 8:53 AM

    Americans: people who have the best heads in their rocks.

  • ghostsniper August 3, 2020, 10:22 AM

    I saw it in person. I heard the statues with bodies would be about 600′ tall.
    I know they had their reasons for placement but I thought it would have been better to have a more southerly view, sort of wrap around the curve, rather than burying Roosevelt back in that cove.

  • Chris August 3, 2020, 2:10 PM

    The big stick was a dick,hence the cove.
    Other than that,it’s scintillating.

  • Gordon Scott August 3, 2020, 7:06 PM

    I visited in about 1987. We came back at night for the lighting ceremony. Boy was that dramatic.

    A few years later I watched North by Northwest. Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint had coffee in the same cafeteria I did 28 years later. They probably changed it now.

  • H August 3, 2020, 7:29 PM

    Gordon, we did a big loop out west on a fam-damily vacation a year after that movie came out and had coffee/cokes in the same cafeteria. I remember thinking, right there’s where Cary Grant got shot.

    When Mrs. hits the big megalodon lottery, I’m gonna make her buy me that big-assed house that was at the end of North by Northwest, or build me a reasonable facsimile thereof. Now if I can only persuade her to buy the damn ticket.

  • Susan in Seattle August 3, 2020, 7:29 PM

    We just returned from a road trip that included Mt. Rushmore; we spent about 4 hours there with other happy-to-be-there people. I hadn’t been there since the 70s. They have an evening ceremony where a Ranger talks about each President, they honor military service members, the flag is lowered and folded, then those gathered sing The Star Spangled Banner together, a capella. Pretty fantastic to hear about 1000 people all singing together.

  • ghostsniper August 4, 2020, 4:55 AM

    “…about 1000 people…”
    Jeez, there was a handful when I was there in 1980.
    Can’t imagine 1000 on that deck.
    Too many for me to put up with.
    Prolly never go back.