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The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a monument carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, in the U.S.A. It was Sculpted by Danish-American Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum, The sculpture consists of the heads of four United States presidents: George Washington,Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The complete Monument covers 1,278.45 acres (5.17 km2) and is 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level.
The idea of carving the portraits of famous people into the Black Hills region of South Dakota came out with the intention to promote tourism in the region. The original idea was to sculpt the Needles; however, Gutzon Borglum refused the Needles site because of the poor quality of the granite and strong opposition from Native American groups. They settled on the Mount Rushmore location, which also has the advantage of facing southeast for maximum sun exposure. At the beginning it was considered to feature western heroes like Lewis and Clark, Red Cloud, and Buffalo Bill Cody, but Borglum decided the sculpture should have a more national emphasis and chose the four presidents whose likenesses would be engraved into the mountain.
The construction on the memorial began in 1927, and the presidents’ faces were done between 1934 and 1939. Upon Gutzon Borglum’s death in March 1941, his son Lincoln Borglum took over construction. Initially presidents were going to be depicted from head to waist, but lack of funding forced construction to end in late October 1941.
Mount Rushmore has become an iconic symbol of presidential importance and it has featured in movies, and has been discussed or represented in other popular works. It attracts over two million people every year.
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