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On This Day… Work Begins On Mount Rushmore

Written by: George Chittenden : 05 Jun 2019

It was on this day, 4th Oct, back in 1927 when the long and difficult task of sculpting the faces of America’s most revered presidents on Mount Rushmore began, but it would take another twelve years to complete. So, who came up with the idea and why? Well, it was a South Dakota historian named Doane Robinson who thought it would be a great way of attracting more tourists to his state.

Doane Robinson hired a sculptor named Gutzon Borglum to carve the faces into the mountain at the Black Hills National Forest, of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. The first face to be completed was Washington’s in 1934, followed by Jefferson’s in 1936, Lincoln’s in 1937 and then finally Teddy Roosevelt’s in 1939. Borglum didn’t work alone, and had a crew of four-hundred workers to assist him

The project was funded primarily by the federal government and cost around $1 million. Interestingly the faces erode at the rate of about one inch every 10,000 years, so we’ll all be able to enjoy this incredible piece of art for years to come.


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