There couldn’t be a better way to pay a mark of respect to those who changed the course of history than by building a monument that was to become a hallmark for the entire country. Located on the Black Hills of South Dakota, Mount Rushmore is certainly one such feat that stands out in terms of design and skillfulness involved in its construction. What’s more, the presence of illustrious figures makes it even more enticing for the visitors which is why nearly three million people flock toward this very site every year and thus realizing the goal for which it was primarily intended. The mastermind behind its making was Doane Robinson, a state historian. But the one who gave real life to his plan was an ingenious sculptor named Gutzon Borglum who built something with no precedent in its making. No wonder during the first 150 years of the country’s history, four US Presidents that demand higher respect than others are Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt. Borglum rightly picked out these four for his carving. Well, it’s just a tip of the iceberg! To find out more in Mount Rushmore facts for kids, let’s explore it in detail.
Mount Rushmore Facts for Kids | A Brief History
It all began in 1923 when Robinson came up with an idea of turning one of the South Dakota’s hills into something that has never been attempted before. He therefore sought the help of Peter Norbeck (a US Senator) who liked his idea so much that he told him to find a sculptor that would turn his dream into reality. In 1924, Robinson sent a proposal to Gutzon Borglum. Borglum agreed to his proposal right away. After passing through few bumpy rides on its way due to lack of appropriate funding as well as environmentalists’ fear, the bill was eventually passed by Federal legislature in 1925 sanctioning its construction. However the project was accelerated by the arrival of President Calvin Coolidge in 1927, when he stretched his 3-week short tour into a 90-day voyage and formally announced Mount Rushmore as a “National Shrine”.
Fascinating Mount Rushmore Facts for Kids
The carving of this mountain is indeed the biggest artistic work across the globe so far.
The mountain was named in 1885 after Charles E. Rushmore, a New York attorney.
The entire project took 14 long years to complete.
Nearly 400 laborers were involved in its making.
Luckily, no worker passed away during construction.
Borglum was 60 years old when he started carving Mount Rushmore.
These workers were so talented that almost 90 percent of Mount Rushmore was carved by means of dynamite.
450,000 tons of hard granite was actually taken out from the hill.
Other Mount Rushmore Facts For Kids
One of the reasons why Borglum chose Mount Rushmore is the fact that the hill is positioned in such a way that it receives maximum sunlight and thus illuminating Presidents’ faces for most of the daytime.
The granite of Mount Rushmore is really smooth and also resistant to erosion so much so that even after 10,000 years it is estimated to wear away by only one inch. That’s why Borglum chose this very site.
Initially Borglum modeled all four US Presidents on a scale of inches such that one inch on the model correspond to one foot on the mountain. In this way, it was quite easy for the workers to carve out faces with utmost precision simply by following the model.
George Washington rightly earned the first place in Mount Rushmore (he was the first to be carved out) as he represents the birth of our nation by liberating us from the supremacy of England.
With an aim of saving records of Mount Rushmore in a vault, Borglum started making a cave on a stony hill in 1938. This vault is situated right at the back of Mount Rushmore and is named as ‘Hall of Records’. However it couldn’t be completed because Borglum had died and also the Second World War was started afterwards.
Borglum died during construction in March 1941 and his son, Lincoln took over the ongoing work of his father.
Lincoln spent only seven months on the project and ended it on October 31, 1941.
The project had to be called off due to lack of funds since it was time of Great Depression.
Had the project was carried out according to the original plan (which included the face as well as body and down to the toes); the height of each President would’ve been 465 feet high.
At the foot of Mount Rushmore lie flags of 56 states.
Today National Park Service is in charge of this historical monument.
Quick Guide To Mount Rushmore Facts for Kids
Name of sculptor: Gutzon Borglum
Person who conceived the idea: Doane Robinson
Starting date of construction: October 4, 1927
Ending date of construction: October 31, 1941
Total cost of project: $989,992.32 (or nearly $1 million)
Height of Mount Rushmore: 5,725 feet
Height of each face: 60 feet
Length of each nose: 20 feet
Width of each mouth: 18 feet
Span of each eye: 11 feet
Formal years to announce dedication to four Presidents:
George Washington: 1930
Thomas Jefferson: 1936
Abraham Lincoln: 1937
Theodore Roosevelt: 1939