A shrine to democracy
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a national memorial centered on a colossal sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills near Keystone, South Dakota, USA. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum created the sculpture’s design and oversaw the project’s execution from 1927 to 1941 with the help of his son, Lincoln Borglum. The sculpture features the 18-meter-tall heads of four United States Presidents recommended by Borglum: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The four presidents were chosen to represent the nation’s birth, growth, development and preservation, respectively. The memorial park covers ; 5.17 km2 and the mountain itself has an elevation of 1,745 meters above sea level.
Doane Robinson wanted it to feature American West heroes, such as Lewis and Clark, their expedition guide Sacagawea, Lakota chief Red Cloud, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Lakota chief Crazy Horse. Borglum believed that the sculpture should have broader appeal and chose the four presidents.
Peter Norbeck, a U.S. senator from South Dakota, sponsored the project and secured federal funding. Construction began in 1927 and the presidents’ faces were completed between 1934 and 1939. After Gutzon Borglum died in March 1941, his son Lincoln took over as leader of the construction project. Each president was originally to be depicted from head to waist, but lack of funding forced construction to end on October 31, 1941.
Sometimes referred to as the “Shrine of Democracy”, Mount Rushmore attracts more than two million visitors annually.
memorial: monumento commemorativo
above sea level: al di sopra del livello del mare
waist: la vita, i fianchi
Mount Rushmore history: