The Statue of Liberty is a well-known symbol of freedom throughout the world, Taj Mahal is admired for its beautiful White Marvel carving, Eiffel Tower is the symbol of love, in the same way, Mount Rushmore is a famous mountain known for the four president heads. But wait!! Is it only known for the four heads?
The famous sculpture of Mount Rushmore features four presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. But this monument is much more than just these four faces. There are some interesting facts about Mount Rushmore that very few people know about. If you’re reading this post right now, you’re probably looking for those hidden facts. Well, not just one, we got you covered with the eight of most tempting facts about Mount Rushmore here.
What’s so surprising fact about Mount Rushmore? For instance, there’s a secret room behind Lincoln’s head that was supposed to be the home for most important documents of American history. Alongside the White House and Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore has become one of the most recognizable symbols in the US.
There are a lot of facts that you surely didn’t know about. Facts like Rushmore is made by blasting dynamite!! Know in detail about these facts in this post.
8 Most Interesting Facts About Mount Rushmore
Let’s end your wait here. Get to know the most interesting facts about Mount Rushmore, that reveal a lot about the creating of this historical monument.
The Fourth Face
Did you know that the fourth face to be carved on Mount Rushmore was a matter of controversy?
Borglum wanted to carve four faces on the mountain, as he always wanted Mount Rushmore to become a “Shrine of Democracy”. Three faces to be carved on the mountain were already decided to be the three U.S presidents. But who will be the fourth one to accompany them was still to be decided.
The reason for choosing three U.S presidents was simple, George Washington as he was the first president, Thomas Jefferson as he wrote the Declaration of Independence, and Abraham Lincoln for his contribution in holding the country together during the Civil War.
There was an ongoing debate for honoring the fourth face. Borglum wanted Teddy Roosevelt to be the fourth face for building the Panama Canal and his conservational efforts. Many others wanted it to be $5.000 for Woodrow Wilson for contributing during the U.S. during World War I.
Ultimately, Roosevelt was shortlisted!
In 1937, peak’s name, he replied that the peak never had a name. So that from now onwards, the peak will be called by the name, Rushmore.
Later on, Charles E. Rushmore donated a large amount of $5.000 to the Mount Rushmore project. He was the first one to donate private money for the project.
Ninety Percent Of The Carving is Done By Dynamite!
Mount Rushmore was such a grand monumental project, so how can we expect less grand sculpting?
No doubt, the earlier idea of carving the mountain was carried solely by chisels for removing tons of granite. But as it sounds, it was not going to be enough. A lot of techniques were used, from jackhammers to chisels everything was tried and when nothing seemed like working as such, Borglum decided to try dynamite.
You see the story behind its making is as interesting as Mount Rushmore itself. Soon the workers learned how to blast away granite, getting perfection inches after inches.
Drillers would have to bore deep holes into the granite to prepare for each blast. Then a trained worker called, “powder monkey” would place dynamite sticks into each hole. During the lunch breaks when workers were off the mountain, the blast was finally executed.
No One Died
This is the best thing to hear, that no one died during the making of this masterpiece. Can you imagine the scary scene of carrying dynamite, heavy drills, and jackhammers on a great height? Not just for one day but for 14 long years, all this continued.
Despite these dangerous conditions, not even a single worker died while carving Mount Rushmore. However, due to inhaled silica dust, many workers died later on from silicosis.
The Secret Room
Ahm!! Secrets inside secrets!!
Did you know about this secret room carved into Mount Rushmore?
Borglum while carving the mountain, got up with another plan to make a Hall of Records. This Hall of Records would be a repository for American history. This secret room carved into Mount Rushmore was to be a large room about 80 by 100 feet.
The secret room was to be built like a grand museum that holds all the records of American history. For visitor’s entry, Borglum planned a granite grand stairway straight to the small canyon behind Lincoln’s head.
Inside the hall, the walls were to be decorated with famous Americans, American history and important documents would be housed in glass and bronze cabinets.
Since funding became so tight, tension arose, that Mount Rushmore would never be finished. Now the whole focus was shifted to carving just the four faces. The secret room was never completed as per Borglum’s plan. It remains a roughly-hewn tunnel that is 68 feet long. No stairs were carved, no Hall of Records was decorated and it remains unattainable to visitors.
Mount Rushmore is Actually Unfinished
Unfinished? But the four heads that were supposed to be carved are clearly visible. What makes it unfinished then?
Like every other sculptor, Borglum also made a rough plaster model of Mount Rushmore before starting work. Do you know while carving Mount Rushmore, Borglum had to change his model nine times? What’s even more surprising is that Mount Rushmore was not just supposed to be four president’s heads, Borglum fully intended on carving the whole body.
As you can see in the picture, the plaster model gives the exact view of what Borglum wanted to make. Here too, lack of funding led the sculpture to be just the four heads.
Thomas Jefferson’s Head Moved
President Thomas Jefferson’s Head was originally supposed to be carved on the right of President Washington. When the carving for Jefferson’s face began in July 1931, it was discovered that area where it was supposed to be carved was full of quartz, which was unsuitable for carvings.
. For 18 months, the workers kept working to blast away the quartz but they discovered more and more of it as they blasted. After being left with no other option, finally in 1934 Borglum decided to move Jefferson’s face from right to left of Washington.
An Extra Long Nose
Before I tell you the story behind creating an extra-long nose, let me share that each head on Mount Rushmore is 60 feet tall. Their noses are roughly 21 feet tall, except the one for George Washington.
It was determined that the granite on Mount Rushmore would erode to some extent with every passing 10,000 years. Borglum thought of people thousands of years in the future while creating his massive “Shrine of Democracy”. Just to be sure that the monument continues to be awe-inspiring and endure for longer, Borglum added an extra foot onto George’s nose.
As he stated: “What is twelve inches to a nose to a face that is sixty feet in height?”
Sculptor Died Months Before Completion
Borglum, the sculptor for Mount Rushmore was an extremely temperamental man, often called “the old man” by workers. Due to his sudden mood swings, he would anytime fire and then rehire the workers. Even his own secretary was fired 17 times by him and then rehired.
Despite being a difficult personality to cope up with, Borglum’s perseverance and enthusiasm were a big reason for the success of Mount Rushmore. After working for 16 years on the project, when Borglum was 73 years old, he underwent prostate surgery in February 1941. He died from a blood clot in Chicago, just three weeks after the surgery on March 6, 1941.
Borglum died just seven months before the completion of Mount Rushmore. Lincoln Borglum, his son finally finished the leftover project.
These were the eight interesting facts about Mount Rushmore. One thing that’s clear after reading these facts is that Mount Rushmore National Memorial is not just a massive sculpture carved onto the mountain in the Black Hills region of South Dakota, it’s much more than that. A monument that Borglum, for sure, made awe-inspiring for everyone in the world.
Featured Image Credits: Britannica