TIME White House

Obama Designates 3 New National Monuments

President Barack Obama signs proclamations to designate three new national monuments as Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell (2nd L) looks on in the Oval Office of the White House July 10, 2015 in Washington, DC. President Obama has designated three new national monuments of Berryessa Snow Mountain in California; Waco Mammoth in Texas; and the Basin and Range in Nevada. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong—Getty Images President Barack Obama signs proclamations to designate three new national monuments as Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell looks on in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on July 10, 2015.

Has designated or expanded more national monument space than any other president

President Obama established three new national monuments Friday: the Berryessa Snow Mountain in California, the Basin and Range area of southeastern Nevada, and the Waco Mammoth excavation area in Texas.

“I am especially pleased to be able to announce three new designations that are going to be taking place in varied landscapes, but all of them speak to some incredible history,” Obama said as he signed the proclamations in the Oval Office.

The President established the three sites as monuments using the Antiquities Act of 1906, according to the proclamations. Obama has designated or expanded 19 national monuments covering 260 million acres, an amount more than the total protected by any other president.

TIME National Monuments

84 Years Later: The Making of Mount Rushmore

The memorial that immortalized four presidents took more than a decade to carve out of the rock. But on July 4th, 1930, in the early days of construction, a dedication was held for the head of George Washington.

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.

TIME National Monuments

Photos: Every National Monument President Obama Has Declared

President Barack Obama just named the Organ Mountains in New Mexico as the newest National Monument. Here are all the monuments he has created during his five and a half years as President of the United States

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com