Mount Rushmore Construction Pictures: History, Facts, & Trivia About When It Was Finished

By | October 25, 2019

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The Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota was carved into granite in the Black Hills. Ninety percent of the carving involved the use of dynamite. Source: (Photo by Patrick Gorski/NurPhoto via Getty images.)

On October 31, 1941, construction on Mount Rushmore wrapped up after 14 years of work. The giant carved mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota, just outside the town of Keystone, has become a symbol of America and an attraction that welcomes more than three million visitors through its gates each year. Here are some fun and interesting facts about the Mount Rushmore construction process.

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Mount Rushmore was built to bring tourists to South Dakota. Source: (

Mt. Rushmore as a Tourist Trap

Let’s face it: There isn't much in South Dakota. In the 1920s, the State Historian of South Dakota, Doane Robinson, was looking for a way to attract visitors to the state. (Apparently, the Corn Palace wasn't the nationwide draw they hoped it would be.) Robinson consulted a sculptor named Gutzon Borglum for suggestions, and he presented his audacious idea to a committee of some of South Dakota's most prominent business and political leaders, who approved his plan to carve the busts of four of America's former presidents into the granite face of a mountain. Federal funding for the project soon followed, and work began on the project on October 4, 1927.