Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Trip Post 5--Mt. Rushmore!


Mt. Rushmore was my kids' least favorite site, but it was one of my favorites. We also visited this one on the 80's trip when I was 10, but I was glad to see it again as an adult.

First of all, I love all 4 of the Presidents that are carved into Mt. Rushmore. Second, I enjoyed learning about the sculptor and a lot of the background information this time. Gutzon Borglum was an amazing, patriotic American sculptor. One fascinating fact about Borglum was the Woodrow Wilson memorial he sculpted in Poland. Hitler tore it down when he invaded Poland during World War II. It is widely thought that Hitler purposely destroyed it because of Borglum's public statements against Hitler. Awesome!!

Third, Teddy Roosevelt ended up being a controversial choice. Roosevelt was a personal friend of Borglum's and many thought that Roosevelt hadn't stood the test of history yet to determine whether he was a great president or not. History has proven that Roosevelt was a perfect choice. Although, I found it interesting that many had lobbied for Susan B. Anthony to be the 4th face on the monument. In fact, "in 1937, a bill was introduced in Congress to add the head of civil-rights leader Susan B. Anthony".


The Avenue of Flags has a flag for every state!


Our whole group, both of my parents, me and all 4 of my kids. It was a very cold day, but we were lucky because we just missed the snow. The day we were there it was nice and clear and the snow came in the next day.


The view from Presidential Trail!


My oldest daughter has a nice camera and she got some good shots of this cute chipmunk along the trail.


We saw quite a few of these neat mountain goats!


There were even more deer!


As we were leaving Mt. Rushmore, I blew kisses to the Presidents. My kids thought I was a little weird, can't imagine why!


There were deer everywhere as we were on the winding roads out of the park.


We didn't have time to actually visit Crazy Horse, but my Dad got some pics from the road.

Basic Mt. Rushmore facts:
-A historian named Doane Robinson wanted to bring visitors to South Dakota. So, he hired the famous artist/sculptor, Gutzon Borglum to scuplt a monument into the Black Hills.

-Robinson's original plan for the monument was to have it be of heroes of the American West, but Borglum decided he wanted it to be of national heroes, of American Presidents.

-It took 14 years (from 1927-1941) to carve the faces. It would've taken less (some estimate that it would've taken 6 years), but there were often delays because of lack of funds.

-About 400 workers helped carve, cut and blast the faces.

-The men hung from cables off the side of the mountain to work on Mt. Rushmore.

-Gutzon Borglum died before the monument was finished, so his son Lincoln (named after Abraham Lincoln) finished the work.

-Mt. Rushmore is the largest work of art on earth.

-In 1927, President Calvin Coolidge was vacationing in the Black Hills. While he was there, Borglum persuaded him to support and give a speech promoting Mt. Rushmore. He did so decked out in cowboy boots ;-).

-Mt. Rushmore wasn't officially dedicated until July 3, 1991 by President H.W.Bush.

-The 4 Presidents on Mt. Rushmore are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln

--Borglum was personally friends with Teddy Roosevelt and his choice of him for the fourth carving was controversial. Some had wanted the last face to be Susan B. Anthony.

Books:
--Mount Rushmore by Susan Ashley
--Mount Rushmore by Dana Meachen Rau
--What is Mount Rushmore? by Laine Falk
--Mount Rushmore by Susan Koehler
--Mount Rushmore by Andrew Santella
--Mount Rushmore by Laura Hahn
--Discover Mount Rushmore

Related Posts:
Trip Post 1--Grand Canyon!
Trip Post 2--Sequoia National Park!
Trip Post 3--Yosemite National Park!
Trip Post 4--Redwood National Park!

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