Standing prominent amidst South Dakota’s Black Hills are four of America’s most prominent leaders – George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson. The Black Hills, where Mount Rushmore was constructed were, and still are, considered sacred by the Lakota Sioux, the tribe native to the region. Initially conceived by a South Dakota historian to feature the faces of both Native American and pioneer heroes of the west, the monument forever changed the natural environment.
Mount Rushmore is a National Monument and Memorial, and represents the birth, growth, and development of the nation and its legacy. Carved under the direction of sculptor Gutzon Borglum from 1927 to 1941, Mount Rushmore was a massive undertaking, requiring 800 million pounds of stone to be removed by dynamite from the mountain face over the course of fourteen years.