2MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL The Mount Rushmore National memorial was started in 1927 and was finished in There were about 400 men and women who worked making the sculpture. Even that there were dangerous conditions for this type of work, no one died during the blasting and carving process. More than 90% of the excavation was performed by blasting 450,000 tons of granite, using over 20,000 Lb. of dynamite. The workers were very skilled, they could blast to within only 4" of the finished surface.
3The sculptor for the project was Gutzon Borglum who selected the mountain site. At 7,242 feet, it is the highest point between the Rockies and the Swiss Alps. Borglum selected for his sculpture four great American Presidents.He believed that these presidents represented the history of the United States. George Washington represented the birth of the United States. Thomas Jefferson represented the growth of the United States. Abraham Lincoln represented the preservation of the United States, despite the horror of the Civil War. Theodore Roosevelt represented the development of the nation.
5The work advanced well, but there were a few problems The work advanced well, but there were a few problems. Jefferson's head was started on the left of Washington's head. However, the rock found there was too soft, therefore the work already performed was blasted away and restarted on the right side.
13In 1966 Mount Rushmore was listed on the National Register of Historical Places and in 1991 it became a National Memorial.
14At the base of the monument there are full facilities including an auditorium where you can watch movies showing the history of the place and the construction of the statues. There is also a big terrace for a perfect view of the mountain.
18On top of Roosevelt's head is a type of tripod used to haul materials On top of Roosevelt's head is a type of tripod used to haul materials. The annual maintenance uses qualified mountain climbers who monitor and seal cracks. The Monument was cleaned only once, in 2005, using pressurized water at over 200°F.
19To see more detail you need a binocular or a camera with a powerful zoom.
20The first American president, George Washington, the "Father of the Country"
21The third American president, Thomas Jefferson, who drafted The Declaration of Independence. During his presidency, America made "The Louisiana Purchase", doubling the size of the nation.
22The "Great Emancipator," Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President, kept the nation united and liberated the slaves. He paid with his life in support of his fight for liberty for all.
23Theodore Roosevelt was America's 26th President. During his presidency, the Panama Canal was completed, connecting the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
24At the base of the monument there is a walking path named the "Presidential Trail," from where you can see the statues from different angles.
25Below the grand terrace is a large amphitheater.
26The amphitheater has a capacity for 2500 people and each night is almost full for a ceremony honoring the monument builders and the American military veterans. A film is presented showing the history of the place and the ceremony ends with the illumination of the monument.
27Powerful light projectors and speakers surround the monument.
30Touring information.The Mount Rushmore National Monument is open every day of the year. There are extended hours in summer.Entrance is free, however there is a parking fee. The parking ticket allows reentry if you plan to revisit for the night ceremony.The Monument is located 24 miles from Rapid City which can be reached by many airlines. The nearest big city is Denver, Colorado, which is 309 miles away or a 50 minute flight.There are several other big attractions in the area, like The Crazy Horse Memorial, The Badlands National Park and The Devil Tower in Wyoming.