Monday, October 3, 2011

This Day in History October 4, 1927

Have you ever had the opportunity to visit this great monument?  I have seen it twice.  It is a fantastic place to visit, and I hope to take my daughter there one day.  I know she would be fascinated.

So on this day in 1927, work began on this great monument.  Mt. Rushmore is located in the Black Hills National Forest of South Dakota.  I didn't realize that this mountain was originally known  Six Grandfathers by the Sioux Indians, but it was renamed in 1885 after a prominent lawyer who went on an expedition in that area.  This is kind of interesting for me.  One of the people on the expedition with him was married to Carrie Ingalls, the sister of Laura Ingalls Wilder!  (Don't get me started on that part of my life--I loved Little House books and TV show!).

South Dakota historian Doane Robinson first had the idea of carving history into this mountain to attract more tourists to his state.  He hired sculptor Gutzon Borglum.  George Washington's face was the first to be finished (1934).  In spite of some issues with Thomas Jefferson's face (which included cracking and dynamite), his face was dedicated in 1936. Lincoln was completed a year later, and Teddy Roosevelt's face was completed in 1939.

Borglum continued to touch up the work until his sudden death in 1941.  Actually, the plan had been to carve some inscriptions in the mountain that would detail American history.  Of course, that never happened.

There are lots of sites you could look up, but here are the links I used:


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