From its creation, to some secrets that aren't well known, join me as we discover 12 surprising
facts about Mount Rushmore!
The Reason For The Presidents The United States has many monuments dedicated
to its many Presidents who have made true history over the years.
Such as the Washington and Lincoln Memorials in Washington DC, the nations' capital.
So many people sometimes ask why George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore
Roosevelt were selected of the dozens of Presidents to be put on the mountain that is Mount Rushmore.
The simple and honest answer is that when you combine what these four did, they helped
make a vast majority of what the United States is today in one form or another.
George Washington was the man who helped lead the Continental Army against the British in
the Revolutionary War, and when he was President, he was a symbol for the nations' birth.
So thus "Creation" earned him his spot.
Thomas Jefferson also played a part in America's Independence.
And when he was the 3rd President of the United States, he went and made a deal in 1803 with
France's leader Napoleon to get the Louisiana Purchase, which gave the United States double
the land it had before.
To his name is "Expansion" associated with.
Abraham Lincoln had the dubious honor of being President during the first and only Civil
War in history of the United States.
Though his hard work and dedication and faith in America, the North was able to beat the
South and be a singular country once again.
So thus "Unification" was Lincoln's ticket to the mountain.
And finally, Theodore Roosevelt did a lot of things during his time as President, including
getting a Nobel Peace Prize by helping bring peace to another war (Russia and Japan).
But he also realized that to help our nation grow, we must preserve nature.
So he helped set up nature reserves all over the country that continue to this day.
He helped the "Preservation" of America.
So as you can see, these four men, two of whom never met the others, all helped shape
America to what it is today, and for that, we are all grateful.
And to that end, they earned their places on Mount Rushmore.
The Secret Room When it comes to a monument like Mount Rushmore,
especially in terms of the sheer size of it, you almost have to wonder if there was an
"ulterior motive" for making it.
And throughout the history of it there have been plenty of tall tales about what's "actually"
within the massive mountain.
Including ancient Native American gold as the movie National Treasure Book Of Secrets
However, in truth, there is a secret in the mountain, but it's a room.
The room itself is within Abe Lincoln's section of the place, and it was designed by the actual
sculptor of Mount Rushmore, which actually makes a lot of sense when you think about
The sculptor made a secret room with a rather beautiful purpose, for he wanted to contain
the entire history of America within this room.
Likely so that if anything happened to the country, these artifacts would likely remain.
The sculptor had parts of the room dedicated to the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, the
Declaration of Independence and more.
So this isn't a "conspiracy room", it's actually one of preservation, Teddy would be proud.
He died before being able to complete the History of America, but others took up the
cause within the room.
It's actually unknown just how much is within the room now, as well as what other documents
might be in there.
Which brings us to the other part of the "secret" room...it's going to stay a secret in terms
of its true look and contents.
There are no tours of the room, and since the door is actually on Abe Lincoln's face,
you can't just go up there and get in.
So while its purpose isn't mysterious, what actually remains in there now most definitely
A true secret room many decades after it was built to be anything but.
Why The Black Hills?
Let's talk about location for a bit, shall we?
When you think of some of the biggest and most popular monuments in the world, you associate
them with big cities or areas.
The Space Needles is in Seattle, Washington.
The Washington and Lincoln Memorials are in Washington D.C., the Empire State Building
is in New York, the Golden Gate Bridge is in San Francisco and so on and so forth.
But Mount Rushmore is in South Dakota...not exactly a "big state", or a popular state
in terms of how many people live there (not even one million at last census).
So why was this landmark put in the Black Hills of South Dakota?
Simple, in 1923 a historian named Doane Robinson wanted to BRING more people to South Dakota.
And he felt that a monument, especially one that would symbolize the country via its Presidents,
would attract a lot of folks.
Sure enough, over 3 million people a year go and visit Mount Rushmore.
Nearly 4 times as many people go see than the monument than those who actually live
in the state.
Tourism, it's a fuel for just about anything.
Not Originally Presidents Though All that being said, it actually wasn't the
Black Hills that was the first spot of this monument, nor was it originally going to be
Presidents that were sculpted into it.
Originally, he wanted to carve Western heroes and explorers into a set of stone pinnacles
called "The Needles".
As for who would be carved into them, that would be Oglala Lakota leader Red Cloud, explorers
Lewis and Clark, and Buffalo Bill Cody.
To be fair, each of them did have their own marks on United States history, and I'm sure
that some people would love to see the original intended model of the "Needles" be done.
However, when you compare them to what Mount Rushmore is, and what it brings, and what
it means, you can understand why they decided to switch things up.
I'm sure this is a different form of "revising history".
Quality Of Stone And Construction When it came to actually make Mount Rushmore,
it was not an easy endeavor.
Not the least of which was because the intent of the monument was to have four giant stone
faces carved into a mountain.
Which means that the stone needed to be extra strong to withstand withering, yet also be
flexible enough to be carved into.
Thus, the granite rock of the Black Hills was chosen.
Plus, the location of the mountain in the Black Hills was perfect for people to see
it from miles around.
As an extra bonus, the position of the mountain itself was facing southeast, which would mean
that the sun above would shine down on it for most of the day.
Thus allowing the sunlight to "fill up" the granite structure and make it shine even more
That being said, construction was not easy, Work on Mount Rushmore began all the way back
in 1927, and it took until 1941 for it to be completed.
Over that span of time, 400 workers risked their lives to try and carve the faces into
the stone, and when all was said and done, over 450,000 tons of stone was removed from
the mountain in order to make Mount Rushmore.
Despite all the danger and risk, no lives were lost in the making of Mount Rushmore.
Something many other monuments in those days can't say.
A Different Kind Of Honeycomb Surely you must be thinking, "They couldn't
have done that all by hand...could they?"
And the answer is honestly, "no".
While a lot of specific carving was done by hand to be sure, one of the main tools that
was used to shape the granite mountain was actually dynamite.
That's right, they actually blasted it into submission at times.
In fact, 90% of the carving of Mount Rushmore was done via dynamite.
Then they did the more refined work via a technique known as "honeycombing".
Basically, they would drill holes into the mountain, and then continue drilling those
holes close together so that they could slowly chip out the rock that they needed to remove.
This was a very finesse style of construction.
And it worked to great effect as you can see in the faces of the Presidents.
We Who Mine Here Salute You...
So what kind of men would be brave enough to go and climb a mountain and try to carve
Presidents out of them?
Why...miners of course.
That's right, it wasn't a group of artists who helped make Mount Rushmore what it is
today, it was actually a large group of miners.
You see, the miners in question had been trying to find gold in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
And eventually, they were hired to make Mount Rushmore.
To be fair, the overall project was overseen by a Danish-American sculptor named Gutzon
Borglum, but the hard labor was done by these miners.
Which worked in their favor as the miners had experience not only with stone, but with
A Fifth Face As is the way of history, when a person that
is deemed "special" comes around and wants to be honored, many people seek to add them
to key monuments that represent greatness.
Sure enough, that actually happened in 1937, where Congress tried to pass a bill stating
that a fifth person was to be put on Mount Rushmore.
Who was that person?
None other than Susan B. Anthony, the leader of the Women's Rights movement that swept
the nation in the early 1900's and helped women finally get the right to vote (among
other things of course).
Despite it obviously not happening, this was quite a gesture, and a bill really was put
into Congress to try and make it happen.
However, eventually, Congress rescinded the offer and stated that only the four original
faces were to be put on the mountain.
You could say they had a change of heart, or, that since Mount Rushmore was already
over a decade into construction that they didn't want to muck things up now.
Either way, Anthony didn't get her face on the mountain, but could you imagine if she
What an honor it would've been, and a symbol to all women could've been immortalized.
As for the "meaning" of her placement, I would go as far as to say "Equalization."
As all men and women should be treated equally.
The Cost As in all things, such a project was going
to cost money, especially with all the dynamite and workers that needed to be hired in order
to make this thing work.
But you might be surprised by how much, or rather, how little, it actually cost to make.
All told, start to finish, over the course of 14 years, Mount Rushmore cost...$1 million
dollars to make.
Yeah, that's it, $1 million dollars.
Granted, in the 1920s-1940s a million was a lot of money.
Especially when you consider this was when the United States was going through the Great
Depression and money was seriously tight.
Still though, they got it done.
Now, if you were to convert that into today's figures, that would mean that Mount Rushmore
cost about $14.4 million dollars.
Which seems more appropriate when you think about it.
Face Off When you look at the structure that is Mount
Rushmore, the order of the Presidents goes: Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln.
However, at one time, that wasn't to be the order.
Instead, Thomas Jefferson was going to be first from left to right.
In fact, his face was actually carved to the right of Washington (from Washington's perspective)
for over a year.
However, as construction got deeper, they realized that the rock wouldn't be able to
So, they actually dynamited his entire face off the mountain, then restarted the whole
process on the other side of Washington.
A Head Of The Men Considering some of the other monuments that
have portrayed great men and women of stature, it may seem odd that Mount Rushmore actually
only has the heads of these four great Presidents.
While, it actually wasn't intentional.
At first, Mount Rushmore was supposed to have the Presidents with their heads and in full
They even had a concept sculpture showing it off.
However, funding eventually got that part of the monument scrapped, and by 1941, they
called Mount Rushmore "complete", and it stands as it is now because of that.
The Man Named Rushmore In order to save the best for last, allow
me to ask you a question.
Where did Mount Rushmore get its name?
Ah, never thought about it before, have you?
That's natural, as the name feels important, but you forget about it when you look at its
Anyway, the truth of the matter is that name "Mount Rushmore" came from a lawyer from New
York named Charles E. Rushmore.
But not because he helped fund the project, or was a key worker or sculptor or anything
Rather, he got it named after him...after just visiting the place.
During its construction, the lawyer came to South Dakota to see it, and when asking a
tour guide about its name, the person said it didn't have one, so the guide took up the
lawyers name and called it "Mount Rushmore".
Eventually, Rushmore donated $5000 to the project to help complete it.
So I guess you could say he bought the name, but either way, his name is now as legendary
as the Presidents that he once gazed upon in stone.
Thanks for watching everyone!
Did you learn something new about Mount Rushmore via our list?
What facts or secrets surprised you the most?
Have you been to Mount Rushmore before?
Let us know in the comments below, be sure to subscribe, and I'll see you next time!