Mount Rushmore National Memorial

 flying over Mount Rushmore.
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 km²).

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 in 1939 under the direction of the artist, Gutzon Borglum. 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 and sidewalks. 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 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.
  • Mount Rushmore is featured in Team America: World Police as the Team America headquarters which was destroyed by Michael Moore's suicide bomb.
  • In the Roger Rabbit short Trail Mix-Up, Roger Rabbit and friends crash-land into Mount Rushmore, terrifying the presidents and destroying the monument.
  • In Superman II, General Zod and his partners in crime deface the monument, using their superpowers to replace three of the busts with their own faces and wipe out the fourth.
  • In Mars Attacks!, the Martians in a UFO carve their faces into Mount Rushmore, replacing the Presidents' heads.
  • In one of the final scenes in Skins Rudy Yellow Lodge throws a large container of red paint down the face of George Washington.
  • In the Dexter's Laboratory episode Rushmore Rumble, Mount Rushmore's George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are out of the memorial due to Dexter's and Mandark's technology to resurrect them. Dexter takes control of Abraham Lincoln's statue to fight Mandark's George Washington.

External links

National Park Service - Mount Rushmore National Memorial (

The Making of Mount Rushmore (

Photographic virtual tour of Mount Rushmore National Memorial. (

Mount Rushmore National Memorial ( - National Parks Gallery

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