Did you know that the massive carving of the four US Presidents on Mount Rushmore National Memorial was supposed to show their head up to their waists? Now, that would have been really magnificent. The heads carved there right now are awe-inspiring for sure, but had they finished the sculpture to their waist, it would have been several times grander.
The Mt. Rushmore National Memorial was started during the time of President Calvin Coolidge. The monument was created to boost tourism in South Dakota. The four US presidents that are carved into the face of that mountain are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. These presidents were chosen because of their contribution in the preservation of the union and the expansion of the territories of the USA.
It took 14 years and around 400 workers to finish the head carvings. The project cost almost $1 million dollars to build. Dynamites were used to chip off large chunks of the mountain. The details were carved using handheld tools. No one was killed during the making of the monuments despite the size and the dangerous nature of the undertaking. Every now and then, the surfaces of the sculptures are inspected by mountain climbers to check for cracks or any damages. Of course, as with any national monument, the USA flag stands proud near the entrance to usher in all the visitors eager to be awed by this inspiring monument.
Today, Mount Rushmore is South Dakota’s top tourist attraction. Over 2 million tourists visit the monument every year. The Mt. Rushmore National Park does not charge admission fee. The only fee the tourists pay when they visit the park is the parking fee.