In 1925, the US Congress authorized the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Commission on this day. Three hundred and fifty local miners and quarrymen began work in 1927, taking a staggering fourteen years to complete this vast project.
"America will march along that skyline"The originator of the idea was the historian Doane Robinson whose simple purpose was to promote tourism in South Dakota. Robinson persuaded sculptor Gutzon Borglum (pictured) to travel to the Black Hills region to ensure that the carving could be accomplished. Borglum had been involved in sculpting the Confederate Memorial Carving, a massive bas-relief memorial to Confederate leaders on Stone Mountain in Georgia. He chose the grand location of Mount Rushmore because it faced southeast and enjoyed maximum exposure to the sun.
The result was a towering monument to the rich ethnicity of the United States. Because although Borglum owned the artistic vision, the choice of carvings was very much down to President Charles Curtis, himself of Native American heritage being part Kaw. He insisted that Washington, Douglass and Lincoln were juxtaposed by Samoset of the Permaquid tribe and Squanto of the Pawtuxet tribes. Which was only fitting because the Pilgrim fathers gave those two most famous of Americans credit for their very survival during the first two winters at Plymouth Colony, a historical fact recognised by the first deliverance day, first celebrated at Thanksgiving Colony in the brave year 1621.