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MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MONUMENT

October 8, 2011

MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MONUMENT

SOME POEMS OF MOUNT RUSHMOE

MOUNT RUSHMORE

by

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn


Owls hang in the night air
between the visages of Washington, Lincoln
The Rough Rider, and Jefferson; and coyotes
mourn the theft of sacred ground.A cenotaph becomes the tourist temple
of the profane.

___________________________________

MT. RUSHMORE SYMPHONY

By: Henry S. Juhala

Mt. Rushmore rests above

A canyon’s secret shadows

Akira plays the flute

Mountain goats in rare meadows

And tourists in pursuit

Of adventure, of love

Of entrapments thereof

Shadowy, roving eyes

Shafts of granite for hair

Below nature stops to kneel

Trees whispering silent prayers

Creative beauty to reveal

On winds music flies

Aki the flute supplies

Orchestra of trees

Ponderosa solos

A symphony at night

Brings autumnal snows

Then winter’s long night

Notes of majesty freeze

As man and flute now flees.

MOUNT RUSHMORE

Between 1927 and 1941, Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers sculpted the 60-foot busts of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln to represent the first 150 years of American history. Washington was selected for MountRushmore because he was the father of our country and represents our struggle for independence, our constitution and our liberty. Jefferson was to be honored on Mt. Rushmore as the author of the Declaration of Independence, representative government and for the expansion of our country through the Louisiana Purchase. Teddy Roosevelt, the third bust on Mount Rushmore was selected because he saw through the completion of the Panama Canal linking the oceans and opening the connecting waters of the East and the West. Lincoln was chosen for preserving the Union through one of America’s darkest hours and for the ideals of freedom and equality for all.

In the words of Mount Rushmore’s creator, John Gutzon Borglum, “Hence, let us place there, carved high, as close to heaven as we can, the works of our leaders, their faces, to show posterity what manner of men they were. Then breathe a prayer that these records will endure until the wind and the rain alone shall wear them away

Mount Rushmore Memorial is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, 23 miles from Rapid City. The memorial serves as home to many animals and plants representative of the Black Hills of South Dakota. The geologic formations of the heart of the Black Hills region are also evident at Mount Rushmore, including large outcrops of granite and mica schist.

SOME FACTS

  • Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began drilling into the 5,725-foot mountain in 1927, at the age of 60.
  • Creation of the Shrine of Democracy took 14 years and cost a mere $1 million.
  • Rushmore’s granite faces tower 5,500 feet above sea level.
  • The carvings on Mount Rushmore are scaled to men who would stand 465 feet tall.
  • Each head on Mt. Rushmore is as tall as a six-story building.
  • More that 800 million pounds of stone were removed from Mount Rushmore while carving the presidents.
  • Each president’s face is as tall as the entire Great Sphinx of Egypt, measuring 60 feet from the chin to the top of the head.
  • The president’s noses are 20 feet long, each mouth 18 feet wide and the eyes are 11 feet across.
  • The workers had to climb 506 steps daily to get to the top of Mount Rushmore.

GUTZON BORGLUM - Borglum, Gutzon 1867-1941, American sculptor, b. Idaho; son of a Danish immigrant physician and rancher. He studied at the San Francisco Art Academy and in Paris at Julian's academy and the École des Beaux-Arts. His first commission after his return to New York in 1901 was the statue of Lincoln that stands in the rotunda of the Capitol, Washington, D.C. Other works of his earlier period include another figure of Lincoln (Newark), a statue of Henry Ward Beecher (Brooklyn), Mares of Diomedes (Metropolitan Mus.), and figures of the apostles created for the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City. Borglum is most famous, however, for his monumental works. He designed the first of these, a Confederate memorial on Stone Mt., Ga., and began carving it in 1916. The work was interrupted by World War I but was resumed in 1924. As the result of an acrimonious controversy with the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, he ceased working and destroyed his models. Moving to South Dakota, Borglum began work on the gigantic Mount Rushmore National Memorial in 1927. One of the largest sculptural projects in existence, the memorial was also a great engineering feat. Borglum had nearly finished the 60-ft (18.3-m) heads of the four presidents (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt) when he died. Plans for an even more ambitious composition were abandoned and the work was finished (1941) by his son Lincoln. Borglum was a man of tremendous vitality and decided opinions that led him into frequent confrontations.

MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MONUMENT

MOUNT RUSHMORE

MOUNT RUSHMORE A CLOSER VIEW

MOUNT RUSHMORE CLOSE UP

GEORGE WASHINGTON MOUNT RUSHMORE

  • GEORGE WASHINGTON (PROFILE) MOUNT RUSHMO

MOUNT RUSHMORE

THEODORE ROOSEVELT MOUNT RUSHMORE

ABRAHAM LINCOLN MOUNT RUSHMORE

Videos of Mount Rushmore:

PHOTOS BY:

LEONARD EPSTEIN

JANELLE BURGESS

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