Mount Rushmore, SD
History runs deep when you enter the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, America's Shrine of Democracy.
As you enter the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, you're welcomed by walking through a corridor of 56 U.S. state and territorial flags waving proudly, which lead to the Grand View Terrace and Presidential Trail. Especially grandiose at sunrise and sunset, the Grand View Terrace sets the stage for a picture-perfect view of Mount Rushmore. In the evenings, May through September, a ceremony is held to highlight the making of this national monument, which includes a flag lowering ceremony, a salute to veterans and the lighting of the memorial.
While you're there, be sure to stop at the Sculptor's Studio to learn more about the making of Mount Rushmore, treat yourself to a taste of Thomas Jefferson's ice cream recipe (it's delicious!), and if you're up for a hike, take the Presidential Trail for some close-up and unique perspectives of the monument.
There aren't any fees to enter the Mount Rushmore National Monument, however there are fees to park at the memorial. Cars, motorcycles and RV's cost $10 per vehicle ($5 for seniors, free for active duty military). Parking passes are valid for one year from the date of purchase.
Now for some history behind Mount Rushmore!
Can you name the four presidents whose faces are on the monument? Let's start with George Washington on the far left side of the Mount Rushmore National Monument. As one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, George Washington held a vision of greatness for our powerful nation. At his death, Washington was hailed as 'first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.' Next to Washington is Thomas Jefferson, who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. Fun fact about Jefferson: he spoke five languages fluently and was deeply interested in science, invention, architecture, religion and philosophy. Next to Thomas Jefferson is Theodore Roosevelt, who endearingly was often referred to as "Teddy" and carried the slogan, 'Speak softly and carry a big stick'. Teddy Roosevelt was the first of only three presidents to have won the Nobel Peace Prize. On the far right of the Mount Rushmore National Monument is Abraham Lincoln, who led the United States through its greatest constitutional, military and moral crisis - the American Civil War. Abe Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in 1863 is the most quoted speech in American History.
How many years did it take to build Mount Rushmore? Sculptor Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum, created the sculpture's design and oversaw the project from 1927 to 1941. So 14 years, in total!
How much did it cost to create Mount Rushmore? Nearly $990,000!
What do the four great American Presidents on the face of Mount Rushmore represent? They stand for hope, determination and the spirit of a nation.