mount-rushmoreMount Rushmore National Memorial is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum. The rock carving depicts the faces of four U.S. Presidents, from left to right: George Washington (1732-1799); Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826); Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919); and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865).

Gutzon Borglum started drilling into the 6,200-foot mountain in 1927; the head of Washington was completed first, followed by Jefferson and Lincoln. Unfortunately, Borglum died in 1941 before it could be completed, but the memorial was finished later that year by his son, Lincoln.

Mount Rushmore was designed as a testament to the growth of the country and the democratic principles of its leaders. In Gutzon Borglum’s words, the memorial honored the “founding, expansion, preservation, and unification of the United States with colossal statues” of four American leaders.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial facts and figures:

  • The faces of the Presidents are 60 feet high.
  • The face of Thomas Jefferson was originally designed to be left of George Washington, but after 18 months of carving, the face was blasted off of the mountain and begun on the other side.
  • Borglum's original design was a sculpture of the four Presidents to their waists, but time and money were limited; if you look at George Washington, you can see the outline of an arm and chest below his head.
  • Gutzon Borglum also designed the sculpture of General Philip Sheridan, located in Sheridan Circle in Washington, DC.

To learn more, see the Mount Rushmore National Memorial site.