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  • Welcome to the classic Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The memorial shows four US presidents

  • who all played key roles in the first 150 years of the history of the United States.

  • The mountain has gotten its name from Charles E Rushmore, a New York lawyer and prospector

  • who searched the mountain for minerals during the late 19th century. The history of the

  • memorial itself started in 1923, when the historian Doane Robinson got the idea to promote

  • tourism in South Dakota by creating a large sculpture on Mount Rushmore. The main sculpter,

  • Gutzon Borglum, and his 400 workers began the work on the colossal carvings in October,

  • 1927. It was decided that the sculpture would depict four US presidents who all played major

  • parts in the preservation and expansion of the United States. I will give you some more

  • in depth info of these men in just a while. When the carving of the sculptures started

  • in 1927, the first on the line was the man you can see to the far left; George Washington.

  • George Washington was born in 1732 in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He embarked on a career

  • as a planter and became the owner of a fairly large estate. Through his half brother, Lawrence

  • Washington, he got involved in the military and served during the British-French war as

  • a militia officer. After the war had ended, he quickly went back

  • to the business life and his plantations. It was only after Britain forced more and

  • more laws and acts over the colonies that George Washington got into politics. But when

  • he did, he acquired a leading position right away as he was selected as a delegate to the

  • First Continental Congress. When the first fighting began in 1775, Washington, with his

  • military experience, his charisma and his reputation of being a strong patriot, was

  • elected commander-in-chief for the Continental Army. Later when the war was won, he became

  • the first United States president when he was unanimously elected in 1789. The Washington

  • Sculpture was dedicated to the public on Independence Day, 1934.

  • Next one on the line was the man you can see next to Washington; Thomas Jefferson. The

  • Jefferson sculpture was originally placed to the left of Washington, not at its current

  • right position. Halfway through the sculpting, Borglum discovered that the stone quality

  • became worse the further in they worked. This eventually forced them to blast the Jefferson

  • sculpture off and instead start again on the right side of Washington. If you look to the

  • left of Washington, you will see the big hole the explosions left. So who was Thomas Jefferson?

  • Thomas Jefferson was born in Virginia year 1743. Already at the age of nine, Jefferson

  • began studying French, Greek and Latin. Through his college years he also studied mathematics,

  • metaphysics and philosophy, finishing all classes with excellent grades. Thomas Jefferson

  • was known for his diverse interests and high intelligence. After finishing his studies,

  • Jefferson began working as a lawyer while he at the same time became active as a Virginian

  • politician. He protested against the new laws and acts the British rule imposed on the colonies.

  • Jefferson argued that the colonists had the natural right to govern themselves. Soon after

  • the outbreak of the American War of Independence, Jefferson was made responsible for creating

  • the famous Declaration of Independence. The declaration of Independence is what Jefferson

  • is most famous for. He did however have a rich political career following his declaration,

  • where became a Virginian Governor, later Minister to France, Vice President and finally President.

  • Jefferson died on the 4th of July 1826. By then he could look back on his life as a large

  • land owner, political philosopher, architect, musician, book collector, scientist, horticulturist,

  • diplomat, inventor and third President of the United States. He is by many held as the

  • most intelligent and intellectual US president of all times. Jefferson's sculpture on Mount

  • Rushmore was dedicated in 1936. The next sculpture on the line was the one

  • to the far right, the one depicting Abraham Lincoln.

  • Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809 on a small farm south of Hodgenville, Kentucky. He was

  • raised in a poor home, being the son of two uneducated farmers. Abraham himself however,

  • quickly developed an interest in studies. While his formal education consisted of about

  • 18 months of schooling from unofficial teachers, he still mastered the Bible, William Shakespeare's

  • works, English history and American history. He was very much self educated, reading every

  • book he could get his hands on. He soon developed a plain writing and rhetorical style that

  • puzzled audiences. This brought him into politics at the age of 23, when he became a member

  • of the Whig party, and later elected to a term is the US House of Representatives in

  • 1846. With his unorthodox rhetorical style he made both enemies and friends and left

  • the politics after one term and began working as a lawyer. He later returned to politics,

  • and this time got a much more central role, as he won the Republican Party nomination

  • in 1860 and was elected president the same year. Lincoln's hatred for slavery made the

  • already strained relation between the northern and southern states even more problematic.

  • The civil war broke out the very next year. Throughout the civil war, Lincoln was the

  • political leader for the Union and his leadership qualities helped to preserve the Unites States

  • to what it is today. Lincoln is most known for issuing his Emancipation Proclamation

  • and his contribution in passing the Thirteenth Amendment which permanently abolished slavery

  • in the US. In 1865, shortly after the war was won, Lincoln was assassinated while watching

  • a theatre act. This made him a martyr for the ideal of national unity and he's today

  • one of the most famous and highly ranked of all US presidents. The sculpture of Lincoln

  • was dedicated in 1937. The last president, the second from the right,

  • is Theodore Roosevelt. As the face of Roosevelt was being sculpted, Borglum

  • and

  • his worker had problems finding suitable rock, which forced them deeper into the mountain.

  • Luckily, they didn't have to go too far before finding rock they were able to sculpt on.

  • This is the reason why, as you can see, Roosevelt's sculpt is place far behind the other three.

  • Roosevelt's head was dedicated in 1939. When constructing the sculptures, Borglum

  • used dynamites in an innovative way, which helped remove large amounts of rocks relatively

  • quickly and inexpensively. Around 90 percent of all removed granite was blown off using

  • dynamite. The more detailed work was done using drills, chisels and hammers, finished

  • off by a special pneumatic drill which provided a smooth surface. When construction the sculptures,

  • huge amounts of granite was removed from the mount, which is evident by the huge granite

  • pile you can see below the memorial. Even though the memorial is of huge proportions,

  • much attention has been giving to detail. The irises of the eyes were sculpted as holes

  • with a cube of granite were left inside to represent the reflection highlight. This is

  • why the eyes of the presidents look so alive and realistic. If you have access to a binocular

  • and take a close look at the sculpture of Roosevelt, you will see that even his characteristic

  • glasses are present. The majority of the workers were experienced

  • mountaineers, often former miners and rock climbers. This was probably one reason why

  • not even a single worker died during the project, something rather unusual back then for a project

  • of this size. With the completion of the face of Roosevelt

  • in 1939, the memorial looked much like it does today. Borglum's plans for Mount Rushmore

  • did however include much more than just the faces of the presidents. The original plan

  • was to sculpt a massive panel next to the faces, in the shape of the Louisiana Purchase.

  • The Louisiana Purchase was a deal between the United States and France, where France

  • sold much of today's central US to the newly formed country. The panel would be inscribed

  • with gilded letters of the Declaration of Independence and other territorial acquisitions.

  • Borglum also wanted to create a hall into the mountain behind the memorial which would

  • be known as "The Hall of Records" and hold much of the US history the four presidents

  • represent. He said "you might as well drop a letter into the world's postal service without

  • an address or signature, as to send that carved mountain into history without identification."

  • The original plan also included sculptures of the Presidents head-to-waist, not only

  • their faces. However, as you can see, neither of the Presidents

  • torsos is sculpted, only the beginning can be seen on Washington and Lincoln. Borglum's

  • "Hall of Records" was also started but never completed. The main reason for this is that

  • the architect and the man who drove the project forward, Gutzon Borglum, suddenly died from

  • an embolism in 1941. His son Lincoln tried to continue the work, but the father's death

  • and the raging Second World War lead to serious funding problem which caused a halt in the

  • construction the very same year. With this, the Mount Rushmore memorial was left as we

  • know it today. The memorial was officially dedicated in 1991 by President George H. W.

  • Bush. Today, the historian Doane Robinson's original

  • vision of boosting the South Dakotan tourism has become reality. The memorial receives

  • million of visitors each year and it has become a true American icon.

Welcome to the classic Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The memorial shows four US presidents

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    阿多賓 posted on 2014/01/17
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