TIME photography

Meet the Man who has Photographed Mount Rushmore for Eight Decades

The monument turns 90 years old on March 3. 'People change...but the mountain stays the same,' says Bill Groethe

Bill Groethe was only a baby when Congress first passed legislation authorizing the establishment of a monument to “America’s founders and builders” at Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota, on Mar. 3, 1925. When the work of carving began — an event celebrated by President Coolidge, who wore a cowboy outfit to the ceremony in 1927 — Groethe was too young to care very much.

But that didn’t last long. Groethe, who is now 91, grew up and still lives and works in Rapid City, S.D.. He has seen the monument evolve over the years, and not just with his eyes: Groethe has been photographing Mount Rushmore since 1936.

“The first time I went up to the mountain as an assistant was in 1936 when Franklin Roosevelt was here to dedicate the Jefferson figure,” Groethe tells TIME. “I carried the film bag for my boss. I was 13 years old and I have pictures of me standing by the [president’s] limousine.”

Groethe, who grew up next door to the man who owned what was then his town’s only camera shop, got his first camera at age 10 and ended up working for the photographer Bert Bell by trading his labor for photo supplies. Bell had been sent to photograph South Dakota by the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad in order to drum up interest in tourism and ended up settling in Rapid City.

Courtesy of Bill GroetheBill Groethe holds a camera during his time as a photographer for the Army Air Corps in WWII.

Groethe apprenticed for Bell beginning in 1935 and began to take his own photos with a folding Kodak in 1937. Groethe worked for Bell for another two decades (with the exception of three years during World War II when he was photographer for the Army Air Corps). In 1957, he opened up his own photography business. Groethe also ended up inheriting files from before his own time, of early Mount Rushmore construction; he has thousands of those negatives, from which he still makes prints.

All these years later, Roosevelt’s visit to Rapid City — the occasion for Groethe’s first trip up Mount Rushmore — ranks among his favorite memories of monument. He remembers that people came from several states nearby to attend. TIME noted the following week that the crowd nearly doubled the town’s population. “At a signal from Sculptor Borglum’s daughter, his son, across the valley, dropped the flag, revealing an heroic head of Jefferson, 60 feet from crown to chin,” the magazine reported. “Simultaneously five dynamite blasts sent rock clattering down from the space where Lincoln’s face is to be carved.”

Courtesy of Bill GroetheBill Groethe with his 8×10 camera in front of Mount Rushmore, c. 1990s.

What Groethe remembers of that day is a little different, though no less exciting. “When you’re 13 years old you’re thinking mostly of being lucky to have a job and get to go along and go up in the cable car,” Groethe says. “I continue to have that interest in the mountain, of course. It means a lot to me. I still get a good thrill out of seeing the mountain. It hasn’t changed much. People change and facilities change, but the mountain stays the same.”

Mount Rushmore has not been without its detractors. The mountain is considered defaced by some, for reasons relating to the environment or Native American traditions. But Goethe says that, in his experience, the arguments against the monument don’t take away from its grandeur.

“I can attest to the fact that when I sit at a table [at Mount Rushmore], as I have for the last almost 20 years every week for a day or two in the summer, I have people from Europe and all over Asia come and tell me that all their lives they’ve wanted to come and see Mount Rushmore,” he says. “It’s an international symbol of freedom.”

Read TIME’s original story about FDR’s trip to Rapid City, here in the TIME Vault: Roosevelt & Rain

TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Only Used a Personal Email Account While Secretary of State, Report Says

Hillary Clinton Addresses National Council for Behavioral Health Conference
Patrick Smith—Getty Images Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers remarks during the National Council for Behavioral Health's Annual Conference in National Harbor, Md., on May 6, 2014

Federal law stipulates that her emails should have been kept on departmental and not private servers

Hillary Clinton exclusively used a personal email account while she was Secretary of State, the New York Times reports, possibly breaching a federal law mandating the archiving of all correspondence by State Department officials.

Clinton’s aides allegedly made no effort to upload her personal emails to the department’s servers during her four-year tenure, as stipulated under the the Federal Records Act, the Times says.

Instead, they reportedly went through thousands of emails two months ago, selecting which to submit as part of a renewed compliance effort from the State Department.

Attorney Jason R. Baron, a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration, told the Times that it was “very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its Cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel.”

Read more at the Times

TIME politics

5 Ways Pirate Ships Functioned as a True Democracy

Corsaire En Peril
Hulton Archive / Getty Images A pirate ship oencounters bad weather off the Barbary Coast of North Africa, circa 1650. An engraving by A. Maisonneuve after A. Humblot.

Pirates pioneered many of the features we associate with democracy

History News Network

This post is in partnership with the History News Network, the website that puts the news into historical perspective. The article below was originally published at HNN.

Over time, the myth of the pirate has generated the image of a rugged, foul man with an elaborate hat, an eye patch, and a peg leg. The men of the tales are brutal and unforgiving, forcing captives to walk the plank, and mercilessly plundering ships at sea. What’s lost in this picture? That pirates made a significant contribution to the development of American democracy in the late eighteenth century. Pirate organizations predated any modern democratic government, having originated during the Golden Age of Piracy, from the 1650s to the 1730s. As an outgrowth of a diverse society that sought to maximize efficiency, Pirates formed relatively liberal, egalitarian orders based on elected officials and mutual trust.

Sailors often turned to piracy after long, abusive careers as either naval officers or ordinary seamen. In the eighteenth century, sailors were commonly beaten, overworked, and underpaid, and were often starved or diseased. Aboard ships sponsored by merchant companies, there was often a captain in place, hired by the original absentee owner. He was to ensure that the job was completed and was therefore granted absolute power, leading to a sort of dictatorship aboard ships. By centralizing power in the hands of the captain, ship owners could be sure they were minimizing pirate opportunism. Captains with unlimited and unchecked power were granted the right to punish in especially harsh manners, often leading to dissatisfaction and mutiny. One pirate testified, “Our Captain and his Mate used us Barbarously. We poor Men can’t have Justice done us. There is nothing said to our Commanders, let them never so much abuse us, and use us like Dogs.”

This abuse is what lay behind the pirates desire for a different social order. One historian notes that “the determined reorganization of space and privilege aboard the ship was crucial to the remaking of maritime social relations.”

1. The pirates created an order that allowed them to vote for their captains.

The first rule of one particular pirate code reads, “Every man has a vote in affairs of moment,” securing, at the start, a man’s right to participate in the selection of the captain and other officials. With this right in place, each crew elected a captain who was granted total power only during times of distress. The crew, rather than the captain, maintained the authority to determine where a voyage was headed, and whether to attack a particular ship or village.

2. The crew retained the right to depose their leader if they so chose.

The Pirate Council (the term used to referred to the members of the pirate crew) was responsible for removing officers from their positions, and then choosing new candidates to fill those positions. Pirate crews had the option of deposing any captain they deemed to be abusive or of exceptionally poor judgment. As one Dutch governor pointed out, “Every man has as much say as the captain.” A merchant captain, in utter disbelief of the system, testified, “there is so little Government and Subordination among [pirates], that they are, on Occasion, all Captains, all Leaders.”

3. There was a system of checks and balances.

A significant check on the captain’s power was the quartermaster, who served as a sort of prime minister, or chief of staff, to the captain. The quartermaster was also democratically elected, and held a variety of powers. He was the chief executive trusted with the job of distributing loot, and also served as the primary executor of punishment. He was an intermediary between the pirate crew and the captain. One captain explained, “The captain can undertake nothing which the quartermaster does not approve…. he speaks for and looks after the interest of the crew.” The quartermaster can be likened to a judge as well, as he played a vital role in arbitrating disputes among crew members. The establishment of this position reflected a desire to narrow the gap between captain and crew, as well as to check the power of the captain. The Council had the authority to make all decisions that had the greatest effect on the welfare of the ship, including electing officers. The Council served as a legislative body, and also often doubled as a court

4. They had a health care system.

A common aspect of pirate codes was injury compensation. Each pirate code made provisions for certain injuries and their monetary worth. For example, the loss of a right arm was worth six hundred pieces of eight, while a left arm was worth five hundred pieces of eight. The funds for these types of compensations were taken from a common pool of money, which remained as a portion of the booty captured on their expeditions.

5. Booty was distributed fairly according to skill and duty.

Pirate codes often described methods of payment and distribution of wealth at great length. These rules were necessary to establish a specific economic order and equality, which remained in place even among a band of thieves. Most pirate codes explicitly regulated distribution of plunder. Booty was divided according to skill and duty.The captain and the quartermaster received between one and a half and two shares, and all other positions of name received one and a quarter share each. Regular crew members received one share. This system was radical for its time, having created a payment system that decentralized wealth. It was precisely antithetical to the elaborate pay rank structures common among all other maritime ventures. Pirate historian Marcus Rediker suggests that this might have been “one of the most egalitarian plans for the disposition of resources to be found anywhere in the early eighteenth century.”

Long before the American or French revolutions, pirates were living – more or less – according to the principles of freedom, liberty, and equality. Pirates, in effect, were pioneers in democracy. They developed a system of checks and balances, created a representative legislative body with certain reserved powers, and provided a common system of healthcare. Perhaps most importantly though, the Pirate Codes were revolutionary in their method of taking power away from any one man, and placing it in the hands of the majority.


Marcus Redkier, Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age (Boston, 2004).

Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Redkier, The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic (Boston, 2000)

Peter T. Leeson, The Invisible Hook (Princeton, 2009).

David Cordingly, Under the Black Flag: The Romance and Reality of Life Among the Pirates(San Deigo, 1997).

Charles Johnson, A General History of the Pyrates (London, 1724).

Rachel Rolnick is an intern at the History News Network.

TIME Foreign Policy

Netanyahu’s Approval Rating Rises in the U.S., Poll Finds

As voters back home in Israel are turned off by the prime minister seeking re-election

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is getting more popular in the U.S., according to a new poll.

Netanyahu is viewed favorably by 45% of Americans, and only 24% view him unfavorably, according to a new Gallup poll. That’s up from a 35% favorable rating in a July 2012 poll.

In Israel, however, only 41% of likely voters said they view their Prime Minister favorably as his re-election effort enters its final weeks, according to a Times of Israel poll published in February.

In the U.S., Republicans were much more likely to say they support Netanyahu than their Democratic counterparts. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans said they viewed the Prime Minister favorably, compared with about a third of Democrats.

Read More: Netanyahu: Speech Not Intended to Disrespect Obama

Netanyahu has come under fire from White House officials for planning a trip to the U.S. without consulting the State Department or working through typical diplomatic channels. The visit, facilitated by House Speaker John Boehner, will feature a controversial speech to Congress in which the Prime Minister is expected to denounce a deal proposed by President Obama to work with Iran on nuclear power.

Despite the recent criticism from Democrats, Netanyahu’s favorability numbers are an improvement from three years ago, when only half of Republicans and a quarter of Democrats said they viewed him favorably.

The margin of error for the Gallup poll was 4%, while the Times of Israel poll had a 3.4% margin of error.

TIME politics

Here’s What Barbara Mikulski Told People Who Said She Didn’t Look Like a Senator

Barbara A. Mikulski
Terry Ashe—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski speaking during a Senate Labor Committee hearing in 1987

In her winning 1986 campaign, the Maryland Democrat spoke out against 'code words' that held people back

When Barbara Mikulski — the 78-year-old Maryland Democrat and longest serving woman in Congress, who announced Monday that she will retire in 2016 — ran for Senate in 1986, some people told her she didn’t look like a Senator.

Though she had already spent a decade in Congress, and though she had gotten her start as a community organizer and councilwoman in Baltimore, and though her run for Senate was one of three national contests that year in which both major candidates were women, gender and appearance still played into coverage of the race.

But, as Mikulski made clear, conversation about whether she or any of the other female candidates looked like voters’ ideas of what a politician should be was just a way to keep that image from changing. As TIME wrote then:

In Maryland, Mikulski and [Republican nominee Linda Chavez] are waging tough, no-holds-barred campaigns. Although both women come from ethnic, working-class backgrounds, “we are as different as two people can be,” says Chavez, 39, a cool Hispanic American who is married and makes much of being the mother of three sons. Mikulski, 50, is single, a self-styled scrapper with the sturdy perseverance of a tugboat. She sharply turns aside comments that she does not “look senatorial.” Says the candidate: “A lot of Americans, black or white or female, are always told that they don’t look the part. It’s one of the oldest code words.”

Mikulski won and became the first female Democrat to hold a seat in the Senate not previously held by her husband. As TIME put it back then, she had abandoned “petticoat politics” — an appropriate tactic for the woman who brought the pantsuit to the Senate.

Read the full 1986 story, here in the TIME Vault: No More Petticoat Politics

Read next: How Barb Mikulski Paved the Way for Hillary Clinton’s Pantsuits

Listen to the most important stories of the day.


Here’s How Much the Home of the Next President Is Worth

We don’t know who will replace Barack Obama in the White House, but we do know what kind of home he or she will be leaving behind. We’ve charted them below, using data from real estate sales tracker Zillow. Not surprisingly, the only former Fortune 500 executive on the list, Carly Fiorina, tops it with her $6.7 million mansion in Virginia.

Next up is the presumptive candidate from Chappaqua, N.Y., Hillary Clinton, with her $5.6 million Washington, D.C. home –a long way from Hope but just a hair above the former Arkansas governor turned commentator Mike Huckabee, whose Santa Rosa Beach house in Florida is valued at $5.5 million. Scott Walker, the Wisconsin governor, lives in the least expensive home among those whose information is available on Zillow.

To compare the homesteads of presidential timber, click a column header in the chart below to sort by category. Scroll right to see them all.


The median home of the more than a dozen likeliest presidential candidates is worth $1.5 million. That’s more than eight times the value of the median American home, worth $178,500 today, according to Zillow. (The average candidate home is worth $2.3 million.) But it’s still a long way off from the address many have their eye on: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Zillow estimates the White House would be worth $385 million were it to ever go on the market.

Candidates’ homes have a way of becoming campaign fodder during presidential campaigns. John McCain was lampooned for being unable to say how many homes he owned in 2008. In 2012, Mitt Romney was mocked for building a car elevator in his La Jolla, Calif., residence. And this past June, Hillary Clinton drew guffaws when she said she and President Bill Clinton left the White House in 2000 “dead broke” and had to increase their earnings to “pay off the debts and get us houses.” As the 2016 campaign heats up, you’ll likely be hearing more about one or two of these homes.

This article has been updated to include Clinton’s residence in Washington, D.C.


The listings above reflect only the candidates’ residences available in public records. Some own multiple homes. All estimated home values are from Zillow.

TIME 2016 Election

Barbara Mikulski, Longest-Serving Woman in Congress, to Retire

Sen. Barbara Mikulski
Bill Clark—AP Senator Barbara Mikulsk (D., Md.) speaks with reporters as she arrives for the Senate Democrats' policy lunch on Dec. 9, 2014, in Washington, D.C.

The Maryland Senator's retirement in 2016 leaves a gaping hole in the state's Democratic power structure

Barbara Mikulski, the Maryland Democrat who has served in Congress for nearly 40 years, will retire from her current position as U.S. Senator at the end of her term in 2016.

“I had to decide whether to spend my time fighting to keep my job or fighting for your job. Do I spend my time raising money or raising hell to meet your day-to-day needs?” she said at a Monday press conference announcing her decision. She vowed to continue to work to pass legislation in the Senate for the remainder of her term.

Mikulski, 78, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1977 before moving to the Senate in 1987. She was the first woman to chair the influential Appropriations Committee, a coveted position given the committee’s oversight over hundreds of billions of dollars of discretionary spending.

Senate minority leader Harry Reid, who entered the Senate the same year as Mikulski, praised his Maryland counterpart as a “trailblazer”:

“Senator Barbara Mikulski’s career has been devoted to serving others,” he said in a statement. “As Dean of the women of the Senate, Barbara has been a mentor and friend to Senators on both sides of the aisle. Through her work, she has helped a generation of women leaders rise in the Senate.”

The departure of one of the most revered figures in Maryland politics leaves a gaping hole in the state’s Democratic power structure. A slew of members of the House may vie for her seat. It also may have implications for the 2016 presidential race if Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, opts to run for the Senate seat instead of challenging Hillary Clinton.

TIME Congress

7 Times World Leaders Addressed Congress

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress on Tuesday, a speech that has raised tensions with the Obama Administration because it wasn’t consulted before House Speaker John Boehner made the invite—and it comes two weeks before Israeli elections.

From boundary-pushing leaders to controversial figures and world-changing peace visits, here are seven other times foreign dignitaries addressed a joint session of Congress.

TIME politics

Pot-Dispensing Rabbi: D.C. Residents Deserve Legal Access to Marijuana

Rabbi Jeffrey Kahn, owner of the Takoma Wellness Center, dispenses medical marijuana on Oct. 10, 2014, in Takoma Park, DC.
Evelyn Hockstein—The Washington Post/Getty Images Rabbi Jeffrey Kahn, owner of the Takoma Wellness Center, dispenses medical marijuana on Oct. 10, 2014, in Takoma Park, DC.

Rabbi Jeffrey Kahn lives in Washington, D.C., where he and his family own and operate Takoma Wellness Center.

Congress needs to back off and respect the wishes of D.C. residents to legalize marijuana.

Earlier this week, adult possession and use of marijuana became legal in the District of Columbia. There were no parties in the street or any kind of public consumption of marijuana. No one was hurt or arrested. No one got sick or died (at least not from marijuana consumption). The sky did not fall. One might not have noticed at all, had not members of Congress from far-off jurisdictions threatened to jail our mayor and council and bully the residents of the nation’s capital into submission to their will.

Congress is doing its best to prevent D.C. from legalizing marijuana. As Yogi Berra might have said, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” In 1998, the citizens of the District voted overwhelmingly to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. When Congress attempted and failed to halt that election, it blocked the counting of ballots. Once a judge ruled that the vote could be certified, Congress deployed the same tactics on display today to keep medical marijuana out of the hands of patients for 15 years. Finally, in 2013, D.C.’s medical-marijuana dispensaries opened. My family and I own and operate one of them, Takoma Wellness Center.

D.C.’s medical-marijuana law was blocked for 15 years. During that time, while Congress played politics with the lives of the citizens of the District of Columbia, tens of thousands of people suffered. Over that decade and a half, many of those people died.

For nearly 30 years, I served as a congregational rabbi. My rabbinate began in June 1981, on the same day the first case of AIDS was reported in the press. The beginning of my career coincided with the beginning of AIDS taking its heavy toll on humanity.

As a very liberal rabbi in a very conservative town, where stigma and acceptance became large HIV/AIDS issues, I found myself one of the few local clergy to work in support of people living with HIV and AIDS. I spoke at many meetings, visited many in the hospital, officiated at many funerals. There were years when hardly a day went by without AIDS issues on the agenda.

Those years were before the first pharmaceutical drug was introduced to help manage the symptoms of AIDS. During those days, marijuana provided the best-known relief. Marijuana stimulated the appetites of those who could not eat. Marijuana soothed the pain of those who suffered. Marijuana brought sleep to those who could not slumber. Marijuana eased the minds of those who faced stigma and death. I know. I saw it with my own eyes.

My family and I had a very close and personal experience with marijuana as medicine. My late father-in-law Jules Reifkind had multiple sclerosis for more than 50 years. Of the many, many treatments he tried to help live with that condition, the one that really helped was marijuana.

One physician had suggested my father-in-law try it in the 1970s. He was dubious. It was illegal, after all, and he was a pretty conservative guy. But eventually he did … and the spasms noticeably eased. At the time I didn’t know that there was real medical science behind the reason marijuana helped, but I had seen the difference before and after. I know. I saw it with my own eyes.

AIDS is no longer the out-of-control epidemic it once was. And, like with AIDS, pharmaceuticals have made MS far more manageable over the decades. But just like AIDS at its worst, there are many, many conditions, diseases, symptoms and injuries that are best addressed by marijuana.

Our patients are small children with seizure disorders that prescription drugs don’t help. They are victims of violence and terror, combat vets and so many others living with postcombat stress. They are people living with the chronic pain that is the result of injuries, including gunshot-wound victims and automobile-accident survivors. They are folks dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy and prescribed medications, people living with neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia—the list is almost endless.

We see a lot of people who find marijuana far more effective and far less dangerous than the pharmaceutical medicines they have been prescribed. No wonder overdose deaths are significantly lower in medical-marijuana states. For those in chronic pain, marijuana is usually more effective and always safer than opioids.

Our medical-marijuana dispensary serves more than 100 people a day who, before they discovered marijuana, were suffering, helpless and hopeless. And now they are not. They have found relief. They have hope. Medical marijuana has made a difference in their lives.

Congress has a very big agenda with a lot of important things to do. Congressmen Jason Chaffetz, Mark Meadows and Andy Harris have constituents in Utah, North Carolina and Maryland who deserve their full attention. The tactics we’ve seen employed this week are sadly reminiscent of those used to delay the legalization of medical marijuana. The time to delay has passed. We’ve legalized marijuana in the District of Columbia. The sky didn’t fall. I know—I saw it with my own eyes.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser