Mount Rushmore, situated just north of Custer State Park in South Dakota's Black Hills National Forest, was named for the New York lawyer Charles E. Rushmore, who travels to the Black Hills in 1884 to examine mining assert in the region. When Rushmore asked a local man the name of a close by mountain, he allegedly replied that it never had a name before, but from now on would be recognized as Rushmore Peak (later Rushmore Mountain or Mount Rushmore).
Seeking to magnetize tourism to the Black Hills in the early 1920s, South Dakota's state historian Doane Robinson came up with the idea to carve "the Needles" (several giant natural granite pillars) into the shape of significant heroes of the West. He optional Red Cloud, a Sioux chief, as a possible subject. In August 1924, Robinson contacted Gutzon Borglum, an American sculptor of Danish plunge who was then working on statue an image of the associate General Robert E. Lee into the face of Georgia's Stone Mountain.
During a second visit to the Black Hills in August 1925, Borglum recognized Mount Rushmore as the preferred site of the sculpture. Even as local Native Americans and ecologist voiced their opposition to the project, believe it a desecration of the natural landscape, Robinson worked vigorously to raise funding for the project, aided by Rapid City Mayor John Boland and Senator Peter Norbeck, amongst others.
After President Calvin Coolidge traveled to the Black Hills for his summer vacation, the sculptor influenced the president to deliver an official devotion speech at Mount Rushmore on August 10, 1927; carving began that October. In 1929, during the last days of his presidency, Coolidge signed legislation appropriating $250,000 in centralized funds for the Rushmore project and creating the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Commission to supervise its conclusion.
On July 4, 1930, a commitment ceremony was held for the head of Washington. After workers originate the stone in the original site to be too week, they enthused Jefferson's head from the right of Washington's to the left; the head was devoted in August 1936, in a ceremony attended by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In September 1937, Lincoln's head was committed, while the fourth and final head--that of FDR's fifth cousin, Theodore Roosevelt--was dedicated in July 1939. Gutzon Borglum died in March 1941, and it was left to his son Lincoln to entire the final details of Mount Rushmore in time for its enthusiasm ceremony on October 31 of that year.