Learn About the Great American Landmark Mount Rushmore

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Learn about the great American landmark Mount Rushmore.

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Learn About the Great American Landmark Mount Rushmore In the early 1920’s, American were feeling prosperous and optimistic about their future. The World War I had ended in 1918 leaving America and its allies victorious. It was a time of an ambitious dreams and grand achievements, a time when big ideas were put into action. In 1923, the superintendent of the South Dakota State Historical Society, Donald Robinson was inspired by the grand monument being built around the country. Robinson envisioned that giant memorial carve into the magnificent Black Hills of South Dakota so large and would bring people from all around the country and put the state on the map. He spoke to local organizations and wrote letter after letter but his idea was not taken seriously until he enlisted the aid of Senator Peter Norbeck. The respected senator was a frequent visitor at the White House and carried political cloud as well as the admiration of the residence of South Dakota. Norbeck supported Robinson’s mountain carving proposal and they encourage the historian to find a sculpture capable of commanding such a project. Robinson turned to Gutzon Borglum, one of America’s most successful artist of the time and a student of the great Auguste Rodin. Borglum has soon embarked on a site searching trip in the mountains of South Dakota to find the perfect rock that could support a giant sculpture. He chose the Grand Mount Rushmore because it face the Southeast and receive the maximum exposure to the sun. Upon seeing Mt. Rushmore, the passion, its sculpture exclaimed, here is the place. American history shall march upon that skyline. On March 3, 1925, the United States Congress authorized the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Commission. However, progress ground a well hold, his supporters scrambled for funding and face the protesting environmentalist who suggested that the project might deface the mountain. As time passed, many people dismissed the idea altogether. Then in the spring of 1927, President Coolidge decided to spend his three week’s summer holiday in the Black Hills. On June 15, Senator Norbeck and thousands of South Dakotans warmly greeted the President and Mrs. Coolidge, their two dogs and the first lady’s pet racoon. Their three-week visit lasted three months and the extended vacation allowed the Borglum and the Norbeck enough time to persuade President Coolidge to participate in the formal dedication of Mt. Rushmore. That August, the President rode horseback to the mountain, clod in cowboy boots and a 10-galloon hat that had been a gift from the residence of South Dakota. Between 1927 and 1941, Gutzon, Bolgrum and 400 workers sculpted a mass of 60-foot monument. The innovative team used the dynamite to remove large amounts of rock quickly and inexpensively. Their skill and the techniques were so precise. They could blast it within four inches of the finished surface and still gray the contours of the face. By the time it was completed, 90% of the 450,000 tons of granite removed from the mountain were taken out with dynamite. President George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln were chosen to represent the first 150 years of American history. These presidents were selected because of their role in preserving and expanding the republic.
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