Mount Rushmore

By: Quinlyn Taylor

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Introduction

Mount Rushmore is a monument in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is a picture of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. It was carved into the mountain known to the Sioux Indians as Six Grandfathers (which was renamed Mount Rushmore by Americans) over the course of fourteen years. The wonderful monument seems to have never changed since it was constructed.

History

Construction of Mount Rushmore began in 1927. The sculpture was made by Gutzon Borglum. The decision to make this incredible piece was made to attract tourists to the Black Hills. Borglum and four hundred other men worked hard to make these enormous portrayals of four presidents. Borglum picked these presidents because he believed that they made major contributions in expanding America's vision and strengthening its democracy. The monument shows the beginning 130 years of America's amazing history. Construction finished in 1941, Gutzon Borglum and the other laborers work finally paying off.
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Climate

Mount Rushmore has very nice weather, the average high for the year being about 55º Fahrenheit and the average low for the year being about 36º Fahrenheit. July is the warmest month, the average high being 79º Fahrenheit. The coldest month is December, the average low being 18º Fahrenheit. The summers, as you can see, are very mild, while the winters are very cold. The nice weather makes Mount Rushmore a very polar tourist attraction.

Activities and Events

There are many fun and exciting activities and events at Mount Rushmore. One thing to do is to hike on the Presidential Trail. The trail is about a half mile long, and takes you to the foot of the mountain where you can get a great view of the presidents. There is also a lighting ceremony at the end of the day during the summer, in which a video about the presidents is viewed, honoring of veterans, and the singing of the National Anthem. There is also a Sculptor's Studio, in which Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mount Rushmore, made his model. This studio has been transformed into a tiny museum, which holds artist's tools that may have been used while carving, and plaster models of the sculpture. The most popular activity is just viewing and admiring the mountain.

Fun Facts

Here are some fun facts:

- Thomas Jefferson was originally placed on the right of George Washington, but was taken off (using dynamite) and remade on the left.

- George Washington's nose was made about a foot longer than the other presidents' noses.

- Seeing Mount Rushmore costs less than parking. Actually viewing Mount Rushmore in the park is free, but you have to pay $10 for parking.

- The Fourth of July fireworks do not actually happen on the fourth. The fireworks are shown on the third.

- Mostly paid by the government, the price tag for making Mount Rushmore (including the payments of the workers) came to $989,992.32.

Connection With Indians

This area has a major connection with Indians. This land, including the Black Hills was given to the Lakota Sioux Indians in the Treaty of Fort Laramie. Once gold was found in the mountains, Americans stole the land and forced the Lakota away. Later on, Mount Rushmore was made, honoring Americans on the land that was not rightfully America's. The holy man of the Lakota tribe, John Fire Lame Deer, said the president's faces on Mount Rushmore "shall remain dirty until the treaties concerning the Black Hills are fulfilled."

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