English Comp I
5 October 2012
Mount Rushmore: the History
Ever since Mount Rushmore was created it has been and iconic symbol because of its beauty, magnificent and especially its history. Mount Rushmore is a shrine of democracy, a monument and memorial to the birth of America. Mount Rushmore is a symbol of the nation through the greatness of its leaders. The magnificent sculpture depicts the faces of four American presidents who symbolize this nation’s history, rugged determination and long-lasting achievements. According to an episode of Modern Marvels: Mount Rushmore, Doane Robinson, South Dakota’s state historian, wanted a way to attract tourism to the Black Hills in the early 1920s. Robinson came up with the idea to sculpt “the Needles.” “The Needles” were ancient stone structures, made of granite, almost impossible to carve, but Robinson was not turned away. The needles were not an option so he choose Mount Rushmore, which were near “The Needles.” All he knew was that he needed to recruit an artist who loved a challenge. He recruited Gutzon Borglum, world renowned stone sculpture, who, according to Howard Shaff, co-writer of his biography Six Wars at a Time, “was always looking for new worlds to conquer” (Modern Marvels). At this time Borglum was carving “Stone Mountain” in Atlanta, GA, but the project was stopped, because of his temper, and he needed a new project to restore his reputation. In 1925 Borglum and his son, Lincoln, explored the Black Hills for a carving site. This is where he stumbled upon Mount Rushmore and “envisioned the ultimate American monument” (Modern Marvels). Mount Rushmore was solid granite, like “the Needles” and riddled with cracks, but this did not turn Borglum away. He stated “American history shall march along this skyline” (Modern Marvels). Borglum convinced Robison not to sculpt western folk heroes and to instead sculpt four American presidents, George...
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