Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorials, South Dakota


Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a large sculpture carved into the granite face of a mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, created it between 1927 and 1941 with the help of over 400 workers. It features George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. These presidents were chosen to represent the United States’ birth, growth, development, and preservation. The idea was actually Doane Robinson’s plan, a South Dakota historian who wanted sculptures of American West heroes including Native Americans such as Sacagawea and Oglala Lakota chief Red Cloud. Borglum instead chose the four presidents.


Crazy Horse was an Oglala Lakota leader who fought against the US government’s encroachment on Native American land. He led a war party to victory in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. The Crazy Horse Memorial, like Mount Rushmore, is carved into the face of a Thunderhead Mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It was begun in 1948 and is yet to be completed and is funded completely by private donations.


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