This has to be one of the greatest and grandest sculptures in the world. MarketMAPS takes a look at the next destination on our list of 100 Places You Need to Visit: Mount Rushmore.
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Near Keystone, South Dakota sits Mt.Rushmore, a granite mountainside with the likenesses of 4 US presidents carved into it. The faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln (each over 60 feet tall) represent the first 150 years of US history.
Originally known as the Six Grandfathers to the native Lakota Sioux, the mountain was renamed after Charles E. Rushmore in 1885. Doane Robinson, a historian, first conceived the idea of carving likenesses of famous people into the mountains of South Dakota in 1923. This, he believed, would promote tourism in the region. He persuaded Danish-American sculptor Gutzon Borglum to travel to the Black Hills region to plan and carve the sculpture.
Borglum chose Mt.Rushmore for its grand size and the fact that it enjoyed maximum exposure to the sun. Commissioned by congress in 1925, Gutzon Borglum began working on the faces of 4 US presidents. How did he choose which presidents to sculpt? President Coolidge instructed him to portray the likenesses of George Washington, two Republican presidents, and one Democrat.
Originally, the sculptures were going to be from head to waist. But due to a lack of funding, the project was declared finished when the faces of the 4 presidents were completed in 1941. Recently, controversy has surrounded the monument at Mt.Rushmore. Native Americans declare the mountain, and the rest of the Black Hills to be their land, guaranteed to them by the Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1868. This year, a special UN commission advised the US to return the land of the Black Hills to the Lakota Sioux.
If you’d like to see one of the grandest monuments in the US, Mt.Rushmore may be the place for you. If you’re planning to travel to South Dakota, get started with the right map. MarketMAPS publishes the most complete selection of maps of anywhere in the US and worldwide. Plan your travels with a road map, map book, digital map, or custom area map.
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