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MOUNT RUSHMORE
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Sculptor Gutzon Borglum has marked off the rock which he will carve the likenesses of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt in the Black Hills area of Keystone, S.D., Aug. 15, 1927.AP
MOUNT RUSHMORE
Mount Rushmore Construction
Gutzon Borglum Working on Model
Gutzon Borglum Working on Sculpture
Mount Rushmore Construction
Gutzon Borglum Inspecting Washington's Statue on Mount Rushmore
MOUNT RUSHMORE Construction
Mount Rushmore Construction
Gutzon Borglum at Mount Rushmore
Gutzon Borglum Overseeing Mount Rushmore Construction
Popperfoto.The Book. Volume 1.Page: 93. Picture: 9. A man on the head of George Washington at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, U.S.A. circa 1930.
View of Mount Rushmore in Progress
Mount Rushmore In South Dakota
Sculptor Gutzon Borglum has marked off the rock which he will carve the likenesses of U.S. Presidents George Washington,
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84 Years Later: The Making of Mount Rushmore

Jul 04, 2014

The Danish-American sculptor Gutzon Borglum began carving the heads of four presidents out of South Dakota's Mount Rushmore in 1927, embarking on an ambitious project to build one of America's most iconic memorials. Today, the heads of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt attract more than 2 million visitors every year.

But construction was predictably laborious, and Borglum died in 1941 before he could see his project finished. His son, Lincoln Borglum, completed the sculpture later that year. Today, on the 84th anniversary of the Fourth of July dedication of Washington's head in the early years of carving, TIME looks back at the construction of the memorial that immortalized four presidents.

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