Mount Rushmore is the world-renowned mountain carving that gives South Dakota its nickname. Typically, most people, even internationally, recognize the carving. Usually they know it’s in the American West, sometimes they need reminders that it’s in South Dakota. A frequently asked question is why are those presidents’ faces on Mount Rushmore? Not everyone knows…this post will spell out who’s on Mount Rushmore National Memorial and why.
Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln represent the birth, growth, development, and preservation of America.
George Washington (1st president) represents the birth of the United States. He was the “father of our country.” He led the early colonists to win independence from Great Britain and laid the foundation work for what is the American democracy.
Thomas Jefferson (3rd president) represents the growth of the United States since he expanded our country to double its size with the Louisiana Purchase. Jefferson also wrote the Declaration of Independence.
Theodore Roosevelt (26th president) represents the development of the United States, as he was instrumental in building the Panama Canal which opened up trade routes from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, linking the east and the west. Roosevelt also ended the monopolization of large corporate companies to help the working man.
Abraham Lincoln (16th president) represents the preservation of the United States in maintaining the country’s unity during the Civil War, one of America’s greatest trials. He believed it was his duty to preserve the union; he also believed in abolishing slavery.
Funny fact is that initially carvers started with Thomas Jefferson on Washington’s right. After 18 months (that seems like a long time!) the figure was completely dynamited off the mountain. They then began carving Jefferson on the left side of Washington! George Washington’s profile on Mount Rushmore National Memorial can be seen frmo a scenic turnout on South Dakota Highway 244.
This is the third part in a series of Mount Rushmore history posts. The first post and second post can be found by following the links. The Mount Rushmore National Memorial Society allowed us to share these great pieces of history about Mount Rushmore National Memorial, visit their website for more information. They can also be found on facebook by searching for “Mount Rushmore National Memorial Society.” Information from the National Park Service was also used for this post.