Did You Know that Mount Rushmore is Unfinished?
Nestled in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Mount Rushmore is one of the most enduring symbols of the American experience and will still stand long after we're all gone. However, it was originally meant to look very different from the monument we see today.
What the memorial was initially meant to look like and why the plans fell through might surprise you.
Mount Rushmore was constructed between 1927 and 1941 by American sculptor, Gutzon Borglum. Over 400 individuals helped in creating the monument, blasting through the rock of the mountain.
Originally, Borglum's plan for Mount Rushmore was for each of the presidents' (Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Lincoln) full body to be featured in the sculpture, along with a giant tablet of each of their achievements. However, several unforeseen events took place which prevented that from happening. These include the death of Borglum and the rising threat of the Second World War.
Gutzon Borglum spent much of the last two years of the project traveling and working to secure additional funding. While he was away his son, Lincoln Borglum, supervised the work on Mount Rushmore. In March, 1941, as a final dedication was being planned, Gutzon Borglum died. This fact, along with the impending American involvement in World War II, led to the end of the work on the mountain. On October 31, 1941, Mount Rushmore National Memorial was declared a completed project.
-National Park Service Website
Story Sources: National Park Service