5 Mount Rushmore Facts for Kids
Found in the Black Hills of South Dakota, just outside the Badlands, the Mount Rushmore National Monument offers many families the chance to have an incredible vacation. A trip to Mount Rushmore is more than just a quick hike along a mile-long trail to look at this massive monument that is carved into the hills. It’s also the chance to go fishing, see wild buffalo up close, and take a bike ride or a long hike thanks to the over 6,000 miles of trails that are in the region.
If you’re ready to explore Mount Rushmore, then here are some fun facts for you to know about this national site.
1. It’s Got 4 Presidents
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt where chosen to be on Mount Rushmore. The first three choices were pretty obvious. George Washington, after all, helped to create the United States and was the country’s first president. Lincoln navigated the United States through the Civil War. Jefferson helped to create the governing documents and oversaw the greatest expansionist period of the country.
The inclusion of Teddy Roosevelt was the most controversial. He had died just 8 years before the monument was started and was included because of his unique leadership style that helped to guide the US into the 1900s on a successful note.
2. They Blew It Up
Because the monument is so very large, the only way to truly “carve” out the faces would be to blast the rocks away. The man responsible for the carving, Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum, and his crew of nearly 400 workers, used lots of dynamite to accurately blast away the rock so that the faces could start to be seen. The only hand work that was done was to smooth out the surfaces or insert fine details when necessary.
3. Jefferson Was All Messed Up
In the original model for Mount Rushmore, Thomas Jefferson is actually on the left of Washington if you were to be facing the monument. The goal was to make Washington stand out in front of everyone, but after 18 months of carving, Borglum decided that it just didn’t look right. His crew blasted the entire face of Jefferson off of the memorial and began again on the other side of Washington. If you visit Mount Rushmore today, you can see the model of the original carving and how it was initially intended.
4. It Was Cheap
The cost to create Mount Rushmore was a lot cheaper than people realize. In the 14 years it took to complete the monument, less than $1 million was actually spent. In relative value, that’s about $14 million in today’s money. Considering that 2 million people visit this monument annually every year, the value that the US government has received from its creation has more than paid for itself.
5. There’s No 4th of July Fireworks
Mount Rushmore doesn’t hold their Independence Day celebrations on July 4th. They hold it a day sooner so that the surrounding cities can have their own celebrations without interference. It is one of the most popular times for people to visit the park!
Standing 500 feet tall, this incredible monument is something that many Americans try to see at least once. Bring this fun facts along with you for your visit and you’ll have a great adventure!