February 21, 2017

Making Mount Rushmore


It began in 1923, when South Dakota historian Doane Robinson had the idea to carve larger-than-life figures into the state's Black Hills.

Robinson wanted to honor Western heroes — both Native Americans and pioneers — but it was his sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, who suggested the monument go national, spotlighting George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Robinson appealed to Congress for funds and permission, but only permission was granted. Amid outspoken opposition to the project, planning and fundraising began in 1925. But it wouldn't have gotten very far without President Calvin Coolidge who, in one of his last executive acts, signed a bill approving funding. Borglum broke ground in 1927.


The workers were paid $8 an hour, which is more than $100 an hour by today's standards.

But the work was brutal and dangerous. They had to endure blazing hot summers and bitter cold winters. Just to clock in each morning, they had to climb more than 500 stairs and maneuver over 45 ramps to the top of the mountain. Drillers and carvers strapped into leather harnesses dangled on the side of the mountain, hundreds of feet off the ground. Anytime they needed to change position or come up for the day, a worker hand-cranked the cable. Incredibly, not a single person died in the process, thanks to the intricate, and stringent, infrastructure Borglum designed.


--- More at The Week

Posted by gerardvanderleun at February 21, 2017 9:07 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I wonder who held the gun to Coolidge's head to make him spend that money?

Posted by: BillH at February 21, 2017 9:53 AM

Fucking white guys eh?

"Western man towers over the rest of the world in ways so large as to be almost inexpressible. It's Western exploration, science, and conquest that have revealed the world to itself.
Other races feel like subjects of Western power long after colonialism, imperialism, and slavery have disappeared.
The charge of racism puzzles whites who feel not hostility, but only baffled good will, because they don't grasp what it really means: humiliation.
The white man presents an image of superiority even when he isn't conscious of it.
And, superiority excites envy.
Destroying white civilization is the inmost desire of the league of designated victims we call minorities."
Joseph Sobran, April 1997

Posted by: Bill Jones at February 21, 2017 2:24 PM

From the scale of the heads they would be about 600' tall.

Posted by: ghostsniper at February 21, 2017 2:30 PM

Naw, it was created as stage & prop for North By Northwest.

Posted by: itor at February 21, 2017 8:36 PM