Mount Rushmore National Memorial
As Compiled by Sara Hemp

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Mount Rushmore National Memorial in SW S.Dak., in the Black Hills dedicated 1927.
 There, carved on the face of the mountain and visible for 60 mi are the enormous (60 ft, 18.3 m high) heads of four U.S. presidents - Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.  The sculpture was designed by Gutzon Borglum, who had even more ambitious plans for the site.  These were abandoned when he died (1941), and the work was finished later that year by his son Lincoln.  In all, it took 14 years to complete the figures, which during the summer are visited by more than 20,000 tourists daily.




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Mount Rushmore National Memorial, near Keystone, South Dakota, is a United States Presidential Memorial that represents the first 150 years of the history of the United States of America with the sculptures of former U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The entire memorial covers 1,278 acres and is 5,725 ft in height. It is managed by the National Park Service, a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior.


The mountain was named after Charles E. Rushmore, a prominent New York lawyer, in 1885.
The project of carving Mount Rushmore originally started with the purpose of increasing tourism in the Black Hills region of South Dakota.  After long negotiations involving a Congressional delegation and president Calvin Coolidge, the project received Congressional approval. The carving started in 1927 and ended in 1941.


Mount Rushmore is largely composed of granite. The memorial is carved on the northwest margin of the Harney Peak granite batholith in the Black Hills of South Dakota, so the geologic formations of the heart of the Black Hills region are also evident at Mount Rushmore. The batholith magma intruded into the pre-existing mica schist rocks during the Precambrian period about 1.6 billion years ago.[17] However, the uneven cooling of the molten rock caused the formation of both fine and coarse-grained minerals, including quartz, feldspar, muscovite, and biotite. Fractures in the granite were sealed by pegmatite dikes. The light colored streaks in the presidents' foreheads are due to these dikes.  The Black Hills granites were exposed to erosion during the late Precambrian, but were buried by sandstones and other sediments during the Cambrian Period. The area remained buried throughout the Paleozoic Era, but was exposed again to erosion during the tectonic uplift about 70 million years ago. The Black Hills area was uplifted as an elongated geologic dome which towered some 20,000 ft above sea level, but erosion wore the area down to only 4,000 ft. The subsequent natural erosion of this mountain range allowed the carvings by stripping the granite of the overlying sediments and the softer adjacent schists. The contact between the granite and darker schist is viewable just below the sculpture of Washington.

Borglum selected Mount Rushmore as the site of carving for several reasons. The rock of the mountain was composed of smooth, fine-grained granite. The granite was very resistant, eroding only 1 inch every 10,000 years, indicated that it was sturdy enough to support sculpting. In addition, it was the tallest mountain in the surround terrain, looming to a height of 5,725 ft above sea level. Because the mountain faces the southeast, the workers also had the advantage of having the sunlight for most of the day.

Local tribes of Native Americans hold the Black Hills sacred. This belief had led to the 19th century conflict that included the Battle of the Little Bighorn when U.S. Army troops protected gold miners against Native Americans protecting their religious beliefs. The Monument continues to be a subject of controversy among Indians, even after the appointment of the first Native American superintendant of the park in 2004.[10] The Crazy Horse Memorial is being built elsewhere in the Black Hills to commemorate a famous Indian leader and as a reponse to Mount Rushmore. It is intended to be larger than Mount Rushmore and has the support of Lakota chiefs.


Below are pictures taken by Harold Bader of Morrisonville, Wisconsin in the early 1960's.

At the visitors center, there was a Native American, who was posing for pictures.

Harold's brother, Wendell of Warren, Illinois, went up to Native American and starting talking to him.

The Native American was very interested in Wendell's beard, stating that they couldn't grow anything that thick.

He went on to explain that the few facial hairs that grew were pulled out with clam shells.

taken in the Bad Lands

Left to Right: Harold Bader, his father, Howard Bader, near Bader, Illinois, business associate, Ron Petit, Platteville, Wisconsin and brother Wendell

Left to Right: business associate, Ron Petit and Harold's father, Howard


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