|Classic photo of Mount Rushmore|
|Photo From Mount Rushmore Brochure|
Showing Sculpting In Process - (Appears
To Be Thomas Jefferson)
As with all big ideas there were scoffers to downright hostility to a new, different ideology. There are outcroppings of tall, thin peaks, called the Needles, which resist erosion in the Black Hills. Robinson's imagination was the Needles were a parade of Indian leaders and American explorers, shaping the American Frontier. [I saw some of the Needles, but failed to get a photo. Some Needles' shapes reminded me of stone thin evergreen trees.] Here is a link to a YouTube film clip of scaling and climbing the Needles
You would not find me trying to scale the Needles; I cannot scale a Porta-Pot without falling--maybe the key for me is some equipment!!!
An unconventional sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, sculpting in the shadow of brother, Solon, was making a name for himself at Stone Mountain Memorial in Georgia. He was patriotic, beginning to create a reputation by sculpting 'the celebration of things American' which meant BIG.
After determining the granite of the Needles did not meet Borglum's criteria for large sculptures, he began scouting other locations for another solid durable granite mountain. He chose Mount Rushmore named in 1885 for New York attorney Charles E. Rushmore. His criteria included the exposed granite face southeast to receive sunlight most of the day.
Borglum envisioned four Presidents in commemoration of the foundation, preservation and continental expansion of his beloved country.
He chose George Washington [head dedicated in 1930] as liberator and First President to anchor the left position. Washington deeply believed in liberty and the Republican model of government entrusted to the American people. (paraphrased from his First Inaugural Address].
[One Place I Should Have
Used Polarizer To Reduce
Reflections Shown On Plaque]
|Mount Rushmore |
and Avenue of Flags
Sandwiched between Jefferson and Lincoln is Theodore Roosevelt with mustache-somewhat thicker than I remember [head dedicated in 1939] who promoted progressive causes like conservation and economic reform, and expanded the country's influence by promoting the construction of the Panama canal.
T. Roosevelt had a sickly childhood, suffering severe asthma. As was his mantra, he took the"bull by the horns" and converted his image to an outdoorsman, who once owned cattle ranches in the Dakotas.
|Mount Rushmore - Avenue of Flags|
Anchoring the far right position is Abraham Lincoln with beard, albeit shorter than I remember [head dedicated in 1937], whose leadership restored the Union and ended slavery.
Dedication apparently did not mean the sculpture was completed. It appears it meant a commission was let to begin the sculpting.
The memorial was completed in 1939. However the memorial site was dedicated by Calvin Coolidge in 1927. Actual carving took only 6 years, but it took 14 years to completion as funding had to be found. Borglum lobbied from state to federal officials in a manner he called a "one man war" to fund his work as a national memorial. Finally $836,000 of federal money brought the final cost to nearly one million, a tidy sum in 1930s, but not today.
|Another Classic View of Mount Rushmore|
Final dedication was held in 1951. I do not remember this but I was a teenager in that time period, probably not pursuing history.
We missed the evening lighting ceremony as it is conducted in an amphitheater nearer the monument. There was no way I could navigate the steps of the theater. I understand it is inspiring. But I am thankful for having seen one American National Memorial I admired. There is a Presidential walking trail to an area near the base of the monument, a Sculptor's Studio, visitor's center, visitor's services, Lincoln Borglum Museum, gift shop. book shop, audio tour building, and restaurant. We took in the visitor's center.
|Mount Rushmore and Avenue of Flags|
Note: Arkanas Flag - Up-Front on Left!
Tall as a 6-story building.
Nose length - 20 feet (I guess we can call him Pres. Long-Nose, Indians might use such nomenclature.)
Mouth - 18 feet, again Mr. Big Mouth.
Forehead to Chin - 60 feet.
Question 1: Have you figured out what's missing on all 4 Presidents? What else may be missing from one President? [it is hard to tell from photos]
The Avenue of Flags was added in 1976 for the U. S. Bicentennial celebration. Was I every surprised to see Arkansas's flag, front and center on the first of the two multi-sided column rows of flags. Above link is incorrect in that at least Arkansas was on the 'Washington' side. However I believe the placement, which is alphabetical, started with the columns near the monument--not sure, but seems the only way Arkansas flag would have the position it had from position I took the photos.
All my photos plainly show the Arkansas Flag.
|These Two Huge Rock Formations Reminded Me Of Two|
Comical Old Men Watching over Mount Rushmore! This
photo was taken looking across street of entrance
to Mount Rushmore.
Question 3: If a similar sculpture were created today, what Presidents do you think might be chosen today?
|Mount Rushmore and Avenue of Flags|
Arkansas Flag Prevalent in this Photo
(my favorite of this shot)
|Construction of Mount Rushmore|
Photo of Government Provided Brochure
You May Be Able to Enlarge and Read
The Print on the Right of Photo
Some phrases and information attributed to Mount Rushmore National Memorial South Dakota (brochure), provided by National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior, GPO 2010-357-940/80401 Reprint 2010, printed on recycled paper. I found no copyright; our taxpayers footed the bill, so I don't think I am in violation of any law, especially with this attribution.
Answers to questions 1 & 2
1. Missing on Presidents: (a) EARS; (b) Theodore Roosevelt wore Pince-Nez eyeglasses in nearly all photos I've seen. However, Sculptor Gurzon Borglum knew him personally.
2. Flags (not 50 states or District of Columbia): Common Wealth of Puerto Rico, Territory of Virgin Islands, Territory of Guam, Territory of American Samoa, Commonwealth of Mariana Islands.
3. Opinion - mine only:
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt [for reasons already stated] would probably make the list.
Add Franklin Roosevelt - held the union together through Great Depression, WWII
Ronald Reagan - led the union through stagnation of economy, ended the Cold War
Possibly John F. Kennedy - equalization of races continued by LBJ after JFK's asassination, but certain decisions began to stir Vietnam conflict. My brother was a Navy radioman privy to top clearance; after discharge he declared JFK was responsible for starting war in Vietnam. His response to certain foreign affairs initiated certain events leading to conflicts.
I considered Dwight Eisenhower as the Interstate Highway System began under his watch and provided many jobs, but his WWII service seemed to overshadow his presidency which was considered mediocre by some historians.
History is not complete on Bill Clinton or Barrack Obama for me to make a decision; I lingered on Lyndon Johnson as he created Medicare/Medicaid, but he escalated the Vietnam War, IN MY OPINION.
However, sculpting a memorial of even 4 presidents, much less adding 2 or more would never happen in our current political environment and economic instability. I can hear the yowls if Congress was asked for such funds with a 14+ trillion dollar debt to service and pay, looking them in the face.
Another link with interesting information is here.
I reallly recommend a visit here and plan to spend a day to take advantage of the amenities offered. A large number of hotel/motels are located near the memorial. It is a national park so senior citizen passes are recognized.