Mount Rushmore National Memorial

  • Warren Expedition

    Warren Expedition
    The Warren Expedition arrived in the Black Hills to perform the first comprehensive survey of the region, which included geological notes, but no focus on discovering gold. Even thou they reported a probable existence of gold in the Black Hills, reports Mount Rushmore Revisited.
    "G K Warren Report"
  • Gutzon Borglum

    Gutzon Borglum
    John Gutzon do la Mothe Borglum, Gutzon Borglum, the future lead sculptor on the Mount Rushmore monument, was born near Bear Lake, Idaho. Talent as a child and studied art, which lead him to make valuable contacts and connections personally and poticially, according to Mount Rushmore Revisited.
    "Gutzon Borglum"
  • 1868 U.S. and Sioux Treaty

     1868 U.S. and Sioux Treaty
    Up to this point, the Lakota Sioux people still inhabited the land, which included the Black Hills, what they called Paha Sapa. This was along the main paths of settlers going westward in search for Montana gold, which caused hostilities between the groups. So the U.S. government and the native Sioux signed the Fort Laramie Treaty, giving the Sioux property rights on a Reservation, in 1868, away from the Bozeman trail; this laid the foundation for the relations still today
    "Library of Congress"
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    Mount Rushmore National Memorial

  • Mining Act

    Mining Act
    The Mining Act of 1872, allowed for prospectors to mine on any unused federal land. The 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty set aside areas for the Sioux to hunt on; however these lands were still encouraged to be mined. Thus the black hills began to be claimed and mined.
  • Custer Arrives

    Custer Arrives
    General George A. Custer was sent to the Black Hill's to set up a military base, but more importantly to see if goal was truely there. Sure enough gold was found near there camp, and soon after thousands of settlers traveled to the Black Hills.
  • The Allison Commission

    The Allison Commission
    Sent by President Grant, the commion with it's chairman, William B. Allison, was to persuade the Sioux to either lease the Black Hills for $400,000 or sell the Black Hills for $6 million, inorder for it to be mined. To the Sioux this ares was considered sacred and not for sale, says As an affect troops were ordered to stop enforcing the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, wrongfully permitting prospectors on the Black Hills.
    "Allison Commission"
  • Gold

    Dispite the treaty, after gold was discovered in the Black HIlls in 1874, prospectors moved in and displace the Sioux to a portion of their reservation, says PBS.
    "Black Hills Gold"
  • Sell or Starve

    Sell or Starve
    It came to a point when Congress told the Sioux to either sell approximately 7 million acres or stay and the rations would cease. Mount Rushmore Revisited stated, the Sioux lost vital hunting ground and was forced to make due with a smaller reservation.
    This was vengence for the 1876 defeat at Little Bighorn, or Custer's Last Stand.
    "Native Reservation"
  • Mount Rushmore Named

    Mount Rushmore Named
    Mount Rushmore was named after Charles Rushmore, who inspected the mining claims in the Black Hills. Mount Rushmore Revistied states that while Charles and his companion was hiking, he asked for the name of the mountain, Bill Challis, replied, "It never had a name before, but from now on we'll call it Mount Rushmore. The Native American name for the mountain was "Six Grandathers".
    "150 Years of History"
  • Stone Mountain

    Stone Mountain
    Gutzon Borglum was approached by Helen Plane, one of the Charter Members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy says Mount Rushmore Revisitited, about the of carving Stone Mountain with a large scale likeness of General Lee. Borglum agreed to the carving, but of the Confederate heroes of Lee, Davis, and Jackson. In this project, Borglum created a custom method of projecting the measurments of his working model onto the mountain, which he would later use for Mount Rushmore.
    "Stone Mountain"
  • Doane Robinson

    Doane Robinson
    Doane Robinson, South Dakota's State Historian, desired Gutzon Borglum to scult pioneering men and women, along with Native American men and women. These scultures would be on the granite outcroppings of the Black Hills, known as "the Needles." The goal was to draw tourists to the state.
    "Doane Robinson"
  • Doane Robinson's Letter to Gutzon Borglum

    Doane Robinson's Letter to Gutzon Borglum
    On the State of South Dakota Department of History, Robinson sent Borglum a letter stating, "...In the Black Hills of South Dakota are opportunities for heroic sculpture of unusual character. Would it be possible for you to design and supervise a massive sculpture there. The proposal has not passed beyond the mare suggestion, but if it be possible for you to undertake this matter I feel quite sure we could arrange to finance such as enterprise..."
    "Doane Robinson Letter"
  • Borglum Accepts

    Borglum Accepts
    In a Western Union Telegram, on Mount Rushmore Revisited, Gutzon Borglum accepted and would arrive to the Black Hills in September. He then suggested to change the subject to national figures instead of local icons to better attract tourists nationwide.
    "Western Union Telegram"
  • The First Step

    The First Step
    Borglum returned to the Black Hills and rejected the outcroppings and the site and searched for another, until he finds Mount Rushmore, the perfect site with good rock structure and full sunlight expossure.
    After many of attemps, on April 5, 1925, the governor signed a bill for the carving of Harney Peak National Memorial, Mount Rushmore, on Custer Park. John Bolard joins the team as an organizer and manager of administrative details, says MRR. October 1: Rushmore is dedicated.
    "Before Carving"
  • Creating the Model

    Creating the Model
    The four founding fathers was chosen, who were responisble for the development of the United States: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.
    On Building Mount Rushmore, 1926 by Gutzon Borglum, he says the projected the budget to be $460,000 and for it to be completed in five years. As it turns out the memorial actually costed nearly a million dollars and fourteen years to complete (1927-1941).
    "Creating the Model"
  • Workers

    More that 400 people were hired to work on Mount Rushmore says Gutzon Borglum on "Building Mount Rushmore, 1926" Cimbing 100 stairs every morning, setting dynamite charges and chiseling the faces for $8 a day, while enduring extreme danger and weather conditions. The possitive is that over the 14 year project not a single death occured.
  • Carving Begins

    Carving Begins
    In 1927, the carving began and President Coolidge gave the dedication speech for the monument on August 10, 1927.
    "Carving Begins"
  • Coolidge Speech

    Coolidge Speech
    From Coolidge speech states, "We have come here to dedicate a cornerstone...The union of these four presidents carved on the face of the everlasting Black Hills...will be distinctly American...No one can look upon it without realizing it is a picture of hope fulfilled." This goodwill speech raise funds and Coolidge futher signed the Public Law 805 of the 70th Congress, which established a commission, providing a quarter million grant.
    "Coolidge Speech"
  • Entablature

    Along with the speech, Borglum invited Coolidge to write a 500 word entablature, or explanatory inscription, on the mountain by the four portraits in three languages: English, Latin, and some Asian language, says After Coolidge's withdraw, the inscription was opened for the public's attemp to submit one. This was later written out of Rushmore's budget.
  • Memorial Society

    Memorial Society
    Mount Rushmore National Memorial Society established and approved funds to oversee the creation of the memorial. John Boland is named president of the Commission's executive committee.
  • Funding

    Borglum meets with Secretary of the Treasury, to persuade him of the monuments importance, as a result the Treasury paid $250,000. The Federal Government continued to fund the project along with Private donations.
  • George Washington

    George Washington
    The first head, that of George Washington is dedicated, was completed with three to follow. President George Washington was choosen because of his efforts toward democracy in the United States, says "Mount Rushmore".
    A problem arises, the stone to Washington's right was not strong enough to support Jeffersons head, so large areas was blasted away.
  • National Park Service

    National Park Service
    President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Executive Order 6166, placing the project under the National Park Service. It allowed the government direct oversight of the project. This is also when Gutzon's son, Lincoln, beings working with him on the Rushmore project.
    "National Park Service"
  • Work Continues

    Work Continues
    Surface on which Roosevelt's head is found and Lincoln's portrait is placed where the Entablature was meant to be inscribed, reported Also Jefferson's lip is patched.
    "Granite Vision"
  • Thomas Jefferson

    Thomas Jefferson
    The head of Thomas Jefferson was dedicated. The second out of four. President Thomas Jefferson was chosen says "Mount Rushmore", because of his authorship of the Declaration of Independence. Julian Spotts, joins as a Park Engineer and improves efficiency.
  • Abraham Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln's head was dedicated, only one left to complete. "Mount Rushmore" writes, Presdient Abraham Lincoln was chosen because he was responcible for the end of slavery in the United States.
  • Hall of Records

    Hall of Records
    Gutzon Borglum planned to create a Hall of Records which important records could be placed underneath Mount Rushmore; excavation begins. However, works halts on the hall, because it was taking away from the memorials funding.
    Crew focuses on Roosevelt's head, along with Washington's neck details.
    "Inside of Hall of Record"
  • Theodore Roosevelt

    Theodore Roosevelt
    The final head was dedicated, using special lighting. President Theadore Roosevelt, says "Mount Rushmore", was a personal choice of Borglum's and was choosen because of his contribution to business, conservation, and the creation of the Panama Canal. Also Borglum gains repect for Theodore Roosevelt by joining his 1912 Campaign. He is the most modern President on Mount Rushmore.
    Also the work on the Hall of Records is stopped because of dangerous working conditions.
  • Borgulm's Death

    Borgulm's Death
    Gutzon Borgulm was nearly 74 years old. Died from surgery complications. Following this, the Park Service asked his son, Lincoln Borgulm, to finish Mount Rushmore with the final touches. However the sculpture was never fully completed.
    "What Mount Rushmore Should Have Looked Like"
  • Mount Rushmore Completed

    Mount Rushmore Completed
    The Last day of carving.
  • North by Northwest

    North by Northwest
    The Mount Rushmore is in a scene in Alfred's Hitchcock's thriller, "North by Northwest", but it could only be shot on a re-creation of Mount Rushmore.
  • Studio Entablature

    Studio Entablature
    At the base of Borglum's studio was erected a bronze plate with the Burkett's winning Entablature engraved on it.
  • Dedicated

    Mount Rushmore was officially didicated by President George Bush.
  • Hall of Records Completed

    Hall of Records Completed
    According to, "August 9, the Hall of Records was completed as a time-capsule with information about Mount Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum, and the history of the United States of America."
    "Hall of Records Completed"
  • Park

    After the completion of the Mount Rushmore carving in 1991 till 1999, the park was being constructed. The Park Service now reports that three million tourists visit Mount Rushmore a year; along with Borglum's sculpting studio, visitors' centers, museums, shops, cafes, and walking trails. It will continue to be preserved an maintained by the Memorial Society and Park Service, as an important historical monument.
  • Gerard Baker

    Gerard Baker
    Gerard Baker is now the current Superintendent of the Mount Rushmore Memorial Park. He is the first Native American to hold such a position, due to the long conflict between the Government and Sioux people. The Native Culture is still present and is necessary for futer history and life. The park continues to prosper for all to enjoy.