Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, is a monumental granite sculpture located within the United States Presidential Memorial that represents the first 150 years of the history of the United States of America with 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of former U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The entire memorial covers 1,278 acres (5.17 km²), and is 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level. It is managed by the National Park Service, a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior. The memorial attracts approximately 2 million people annually.
Known to the Lakota Sioux as Six Grandfathers, the mountain was renamed after Charles E. Rushmore, a prominent New York lawyer, during an expedition in 1885. At first, the project of carving Rushmore was undertaken to increase tourism in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. After long negotiations involving a Congressional delegation and President Calvin Coolidge, the project received Congressional approval. The carving started in 1927 and ended in 1941 with a few injuries and no deaths. 03 more images and facts after the break...
- 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.