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Encyclopedia > Mt. Rushmore
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Air Force One flying over Mount Rushmore.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial, located in Keystone, South Dakota, memorializes the birth, growth, preservation and development of the United States of America. The Mount Rushmore National Memorial Park has 1,278 acres (5.17 kmē).


Between 1927 and October 31, 1941, Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers sculpted the 60 foot (18 m) colossal busts of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln to represent the first 150 years of American history. Visitors to the memorial come primarily to view the granite sculpture itself, but also of interest is the Sculptor's Studio built under the direction of the artist, Gutzon Borglum, in 1939. Unique plaster models and tools related to the sculpting process are displayed there.


Recently, ten years of redevelopment work culminated with the completion of extensive new visitor facilities. These include a new Visitor Center and Museum and the Presidential Trail, a walking trail and boardwalk providing spectacular close-up views of the mountain sculpture.


The memorial serves as home to many animals and plants representative of the Black Hills of South Dakota. The geologic formations of the heart of the Black Hills region are also evident at Mount Rushmore, including large outcrops of granite and mica schist.


The rock formation is carved on was once a sacred Indian site. A Crazy Horse Memorial, begun in 1948, is currently being carved out of a rockface nearby in South Dakota.


Mount Rushmore was designated as a national memorial on March 3, 1925.


The monument was famously used as the location of the final chase scene in Alfred Hitchcock's movie North by Northwest. The view of the Memorial's parking lot, the patio at the Memorial concession, the scene in the dining room of the concession and the loading of the body into the ambulance were the only scenes in the movie that were actually shot at Mount Rushmore. All of the other scenes involving Mt. Rushmore were filmed on Hollywood soundstages. The reference in the movie to the Alex Johnson Hotel in Rapid City, SD is accurate and the hotel still exists.


External links

  • National Park Service - Mount Rushmore National Memorial (http://www.nps.gov/moru)
  • Alex Johnson Hotel (http://www.alexjohnson.com/)
  • Photographic virtual tour of Mount Rushmore National Memorial. (http://www.Untraveledroad.com/USA/Parks/Misc/MountRushmore.htm)
  • Maps and aerial photos
    • Street map from Mapquest (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?latlongtype=decimal&latitude=43.87911&longitude=-103.45777&zoom=8)
    • Topographic map from Topozone (http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=43.87911&lon=-103.45777&s=24&size=m)
    • Aerial photograph from Microsoft Terraserver (http://terraserver.microsoft.com/map.aspx?t=1&s=11&lon=-103.45777&lat=43.87911&w=600&h=400)

 
 

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