Exploring the Fascinating Facts of Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is regarded as one of the most famous and respected historical landmarks of the United States. Featuring the heads of four prominent Presidents, this monument has been the subject of numerous movies, advertisements, and spoofs. Every year, around three million visitors from all over the world visit South Dakota to see this memorial. While the structure is remarkable in every way, there are several fascinating things about Mount Rushmore that many people are unaware of. If you have been captivated by the pictures or have visited this site, explore these interesting Mount Rushmore facts.
The Most Surprising Facts about Mount Rushmore
Here are some of the most impressive and surprising facts regarding Mount Rushmore:
1. The Naming of Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore is named after Charles E. Rushmore, a New York lawyer who was visiting the Black Hills in Keystone. He enquired about the name of a particular mountain, and as it had no name, the guide called it Mount Rushmore. It is now commonly referred to as the Presidents’ Mountain.
2. The Idea behind Mount Rushmore
Historian Doane Robinson came up with the idea of creating a sculpture in the Black Hills, as he believed it would help to promote tourism effectively. The primary objective was to create a colossal sculpture of Western heroes, but sculptor Gutzon Borglum suggested the heads of great American Presidents instead.
3. The Challenges of Building Mount Rushmore
The construction of Mount Rushmore was a significant challenge due to the unsuitability of the rock. Over 90% of the mountain’s surface was unsuitable for sculptures and didn’t have the necessary level of durability. Eventually, 400 workers used dynamite to remove marble-sized rubble before proceeding with the sculpture.
4. The Presidents Sculpted
Gutzon Borglum selected George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt’s heads to be sculpted because they symbolized the birth, preservation, expansion, and conservation of the country, respectively.
5. The Role of Dynamite in the Construction
In constructing Mount Rushmore, 3 million pounds of dynamite were used to blast away pieces of granite. Dynamite was necessary because otherwise, the workers would have taken years to transfer the granite by hand.
6. The Sculpting Process
Before computer software, the sculpting process required skilled artists to rule templates onto the mountain. They would then work closely with Gutzon Borglum site managers to ensure the accuracy of the measurements and angles.
7. Crazy Horse Memorial
Alongside Mount Rushmore is the Crazy Horse Memorial, which is currently under construction. This memorial represents a Native American warrior named Crazy Horse and is set to become one of the most significant sculptures in the world.
8. The Lack of Photography Permits
Many visitors are surprised to learn that photography permits are required to take professional photographs at Mount Rushmore. However, casual photographers are exempt from this rule, and permits can be obtained for a fee.
9. The Natural Beauty of Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore is not only famous for its historical prominence but also its stunning natural beauty. The surrounding area of South Dakota features forests, mountains, and wildlife, making it a popular destination for nature lovers.
10. The Tourist Attraction
Mount Rushmore has attracted millions of visitors over the years, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in the USA. The memorial underwent a significant renovation in 1998, which improved the visitor facilities and created an enhanced experience for tourists.
FAQ about Mount Rushmore
Here are the top five frequently asked questions about Mount Rushmore:
Q. How long did it take to complete Mount Rushmore?
A. The construction took 14 years between 1927 and 1941.
Q. How were the sculptures colored?
A. The original intention was to make the sculptures colorful by creating a polished surface that reflects natural light. However, this idea was abandoned during construction.
Q. What is the seating capacity at Mount Rushmore?
A. The amphitheater at Mount Rushmore can accommodate up to 17,000 visitors.
Q. What is the meaning behind each President’s choice?
A. George Washington symbolizes birth, Thomas Jefferson symbolizes growth, Abraham Lincoln symbolizes preservation, and Theodore Roosevelt symbolizes development.
Q. How did the government fund the construction of Mount Rushmore?
A. The government provided the majority of the funding, but private donations were also contributed. Additionally, several wealthy individuals and organizations contributed towards the project.
In conclusion, Mount Rushmore is a unique and impressive historical landmark that represents the birth, preservation, growth, and development of the United States. Besides its excellent historical significance, visitors can appreciate the natural beauty of South Dakota and enjoy being surrounded by unique flora and fauna.