On This Day In History: October 4th

Mount Rushmore Begins Constustion
On This Day In History: October 4th

On October 4, 1927, the construction of Mount Rushmore National Memorial began in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Mount Rushmore is a monument to pay tribute to four U.S. presidents. The monument was the idea of historian Doane Robinson, who wanted people to visit his home state of South Dakota. The faces on the monument are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. The construction was started by a sculptor named Gutzon Borglum and finished by his son.

Mount Rushmore has some controversial history. The Black Hills are considered sacred ground by the Lakota Sioux people. The mountain that the monument is on used to be part of the Great Sioux Reservation. It was taken by the U.S. government to make the monument. This caused backlash within the Native American community fighting for their stolen land and is still a topic discussed today. It is also said that Gutzon Borglum may have had ties to the Ku Klux Klan. There has been discussion on whether to put more people on the mountain, but that has yet to come.

Mount Rushmore was finished on October 31, 1941. The faces were finished in succession from left to right, with George Washington’s face being finished in 1934. It took fourteen years and about 400 men and women to complete the project. Thomas Jefferson’s face had to be started over when a large crack formed in the granite. Eventually Doane Robinson’s dream did come true. Over 2 million people visit Mount Rushmore each year.

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