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Rapid City Vacations Trivia

Mount Rushmore Trivia

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is our Nation’s Shrine to Democracy. Which four presidents are carved into the granite mountainside?

C. The 60-foot faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln are carved out of a granite mountainside in the Black Hills. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum chose these four Presidents for the Shrine of Democracy because they represented the birth, growth, expansion and preservation of the union.

Blasting on Mount Rushmore National Memorial, near Rapid City, South Dakota, began in 1927. How much did it cost to complete?

C. The Shrine of Democracy took 14 years to carve and cost almost $1 million. Over 400 men and women worked on the mountain and despite dangerous conditions and harsh weather, no one died during the carving.

Mount Rushmore was never completed.

True. The memorial was declared complete but it was never finished according to sculptor Gutzon Borglum’s plan. His original drawing including carving the waist and coat of Washington and the hands of Lincoln. Borglum died unexpectedly in March of 1941. His son Lincoln took over the project but it ran out of money due to the pending involvement of the USA in WWII.

Mount Rushmore was named after…

B. Mount Rushmore was actually named after a New York City attorney. In 1884 Charles Rushmore was in the Black Hills checking titles for an eastern mining company when he asked his Black Hills guide about the name of a certain mountain. The guide jokingly replied, "It hasn’t got one…so we’ll call the damn thing Rushmore." It was officially recognized as Mount Rushmore during the carving 40 years later. Charles Rushmore donated $5,000 to the memorial.

There is a secret Hall of Records hidden behind the monument.

True and False. Gutzon Borglum wanted to build a Hall of Records in the canyon behind the famous carving. He thought it would be an ideal place to house historical documents like the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Borglum only carved about 70 feet into the mountain when he ran into a funding shortage because of WWII. Borglum suddenly died and the project was shut down a few months later so the Hall was never completed.

In 1998, the National Park System along with the Borglum family placed a titanium vault, housing sixteen porcelain panels etched with the words of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, a history of how and why Mount Rushmore was carved, a history of the four presidents with quotes from each, a biography on Gutzon Borglum and the history of the United States.

The faces of Mount Rushmore were carved using…

B. 90% of the mountain was carved with dynamite and details were finished with jackhammers. Approximately 450,000 tons of rock were removed from the mountainside.

Thomas Jefferson was started on the opposite side of Washington.

True. The face of Thomas Jefferson was started on the opposite side of George Washington. But after 18 months of work it was discovered that the rock was too thin to continue. The face was blasted off and started again.

Is Mount Rushmore eroding away?

Yes and No. The estimated erosion rate is 1 inch every 10,000 years so the mountain carvings should be around for a very long time.

Thanks for Playing Mount Rushmore Trivia

Plan your vacation to Mount Rushmore and stay in Rapid City, centrally located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Here you’ll find family-friendly attractions, restaurants, a variety of lodging options and unforgettable vacation memories.

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