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Mount Rushmore Facts and History

General Knowledge | 7-14 yrs | Interactive

Why is the Mount Rushmore famous?

Mount Rushmore is also known as the President’s Mountain is a carved sculpture mountain. It is located in South Dakota on the Black hills of Keystone in the USA. It has the sculpture of four famous Presidents of the United States– George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Mount Rushmore is a National Memorial and is visited by 3 million people every year.

History of Mount Rushmore

It was the local historian, Doane Robinson who came up with the idea of carving a sculpture mountain to attract tourists to his small town in South Dakota. He contacted Gutzon Borglum, a famous Dutch American Sculpture artist. Robinson discussed his idea with Borglum who loved it and identified Mount Rushmore as the perfect location. The height of the cliff was perfect for the project and also the fact that it faced the rising sun, thus sunrise would first fall on the cliff every day.

The work on the project started on 4th October 1927 and the mountain sculpture was completed by 31st October 1941. It took fourteen long yeas and over 400 workers who climbed almost 500 stairs everyday for this gigantic task to finish with perfection.

The four presidents depicted on Mount Rushmore depict the first 130 years of American History. It celebrates the life and achievements of these four Presidents. They represent freedom and growth of United States.

4 Interesting facts about Mount Rushmore

  1. 90% of all heads on Mount Rushmore were carved with dynamite.
  2. Thomas Jefferson was originally on the right of George Washington but after 18 months they realised it wasn’t working, so they blew it up with dynamite and carved it on the other side.
  3. Borglum died before the work on Mount Rushmore could be complete. It was then completed by his son.
  4. Initially the four Presidents were to be carved from head to waist but due to lack of funding only the faces were carved.

The Secrets of Mount Rushmore

  • There is a 50 foot tunnel behind Mount Rushmore, a secret chamber which was earlier kept as the Hall of Records where copies of important documents were stored.
  • George Washington’s nose is longer than the other’s by a foot.
  • More like an Optical illusion but a fifth face can be seen on the left of Abraham Lincoln, believed to be of a Native American.