Mount Rushmore National Memorial is centered around a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills in Keystone, South Dakota. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum created the sculpture's design and oversaw the project's execution from 1927 to 1941 with the help of his son Lincoln Borglum. The sculpture features the 60-foot (18 m) heads of Presidents George Washington (1732–1799), Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), and Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865). The four presidents were chosen, respectively, to represent the birth, the growth, the development, and the preservation of the United States. The memorial park covers 1,278.45 acres (2.00 sq mi; 5.17 km2) and is 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level.
South Dakota historian Doane Robinson is credited with conceiving the idea of carving the likenesses of famous people into the Black Hills region of South Dakota in order to promote tourism in the region. His initial idea was to sculpt the Needles; however, Gutzon Borglum rejected the Needles because of the poor quality of the granite and strong opposition from Native American groups. They settled on Mount Rushmore, which also has the advantage of facing southeast for maximum sun exposure. Robinson wanted it to feature American West heroes such as Lewis and Clark, Red Cloud, and Buffalo Bill Cody, but Borglum decided that the sculpture should have broader appeal and chose the four presidents.
US Senator for South Dakota Peter Norbeck sponsored the project and secured federal funding; construction began in 1927, and the presidents' faces were completed between 1934 and 1939. Gutzon Borglum died in March 1941, and his son Lincoln took over as leader of the construction project. Each president was originally to be depicted from head to waist, but lack of funding forced construction to end on October 31, 1941.
|Mount Rushmore National Memorial|
|Location||Pennington County, South Dakota|
|Nearest city||Keystone, South Dakota|
|Area||1,278 acres (5.17 km2)|
|Authorized||March 3, 1925|
|Visitors||2,431,231 (in 2016)|
|Governing body||National Park Service|
|Website||Mount Rushmore National Memorial|
Originally known to the Lakota Sioux as "The Six Grandfathers" (Tunkasila Sakpe) or "Cougar Mountain" (Igmu Tanka Paha); American settlers knew it variously as Cougar Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain, Slaughterhouse Mountain, and Keystone Cliffs. As Six Grandfathers, the mountain was part of the route that Lakota leader Black Elk took in a spiritual journey that culminated at Black Elk Peak. Following a series of military campaigns from 1876 to 1878, the United States asserted control over the area, a claim that is still disputed on the basis of the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie (see section "Controversy" below).
Beginning with a prospecting expedition in 1885 with David Swanzey (husband of Carrie Ingalls), and Bill Challis, wealthy investor Charles E. Rushmore began visiting the area regularly on prospecting and hunting trips. He repeatedly joked with colleagues about naming the mountain after himself. The United States Board of Geographic Names officially recognized the name "Mount Rushmore" in June 1930.
Historian Doane Robinson conceived the idea for Mount Rushmore in 1923 to promote tourism in South Dakota. In 1924, Robinson persuaded sculptor Gutzon Borglum to travel to the Black Hills region to ensure the carving could be accomplished. The original plan was to make the carvings in granite pillars known as the Needles. However, Borglum realized that the eroded Needles were too thin to support sculpting. He chose Mount Rushmore, a grander location, partly because it faced southeast and enjoyed maximum exposure to the sun. Borglum said upon seeing Mount Rushmore, "America will march along that skyline." Borglum had been involved in sculpting the Confederate Memorial Carving, a massive bas-relief memorial to Confederate leaders on Stone Mountain in Georgia, but was in disagreement with the officials there.
After long negotiations involving a Congressional delegation and President Calvin Coolidge, the project received Congressional approval on March 3, 1925. The carving started in 1927 and ended in 1941 with no fatalities.
Between October 4, 1927, and October 31, 1941, Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers sculpted the colossal 60-foot-high (18 m) carvings of United States Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln to represent the first 130 years of American history. These presidents were selected by Borglum because of their role in preserving the Republic and expanding its territory. The carving of Mount Rushmore involved the use of dynamite, followed by the process of "honeycombing", a process where workers drill holes close together, allowing small pieces to be removed by hand. In total, about 450,000 short tons (410,000 t) of rock were blasted off the mountainside. The image of Thomas Jefferson was originally intended to appear in the area at Washington's right, but after the work there was begun, the rock was found to be unsuitable, so the work on the Jefferson figure was dynamited, and a new figure was sculpted to Washington's left.
The Chief Carver of the mountain was Luigi del Bianco, artisan and headstone carver in Port Chester, NY. Del Bianco emigrated to the U.S. from Friuli in Italy, and was chosen to work on this project because of his remarkable skill at etching emotions and personality into his carved portraits.
In 1933, the National Park Service took Mount Rushmore under its jurisdiction. Julian Spotts helped with the project by improving its infrastructure. For example, he had the tram upgraded so it could reach the top of Mount Rushmore for the ease of workers. By July 4, 1934, Washington's face had been completed and was dedicated. The face of Thomas Jefferson was dedicated in 1936, and the face of Abraham Lincoln was dedicated on September 17, 1937. In 1937, a bill was introduced in Congress to add the head of civil-rights leader Susan B. Anthony, but a rider was passed on an appropriations bill requiring federal funds be used to finish only those heads that had already been started at that time. In 1939, the face of Theodore Roosevelt was dedicated.
The Sculptor's Studio – a display of unique plaster models and tools related to the sculpting – was built in 1939 under the direction of Borglum. Borglum died from an embolism in March 1941. His son, Lincoln Borglum, continued the project. Originally, it was planned that the figures would be carved from head to waist, but insufficient funding forced the carving to end. Borglum had also planned a massive panel in the shape of the Louisiana Purchase commemorating in eight-foot-tall gilded letters the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Louisiana Purchase, and seven other territorial acquisitions from Alaska to Texas to the Panama Canal Zone. In total, the entire project cost US$989,992.32.
Harold Spitznagel and Cecil Doty designed the original visitor center, finished in 1957. These structures were part of the Mission 66 effort to improve visitors' facilities at national parks and monuments across the country.
Ten years of redevelopment work culminated with the completion of extensive visitor facilities and sidewalks in 1998, such as a Visitor Center, the Lincoln Borglum Museum, and the Presidential Trail. Maintenance of the memorial requires mountain climbers to monitor and seal cracks annually. Due to budget constraints, the memorial is not regularly cleaned to remove lichens. However, on July 8, 2005, Alfred Kärcher GmbH, a German manufacturer of pressure washing and steam cleaning machines, conducted a free cleanup operation which lasted several weeks, using pressurized water at over 200 °F (93 °C).
On October 15, 1966, Mount Rushmore was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A 500-word essay giving the history of the United States by Nebraska student William Andrew Burkett was selected as the college-age group winner in a 1934 competition, and that essay was placed on the Entablature on a bronze plate in 1973. In 1991, President George H. W. Bush officially dedicated Mount Rushmore.
In the 1950s and 1960s, local Lakota Sioux elder Benjamin Black Elk (son of medicine man Black Elk, who had been present at the Battle of the Little Bighorn) was known as the "Fifth Face of Mount Rushmore", posing for photographs with thousands of tourists daily in his native attire. The South Dakota State Historical Society notes that he was one of the most photographed people in the world over that twenty-year period.
Borglum originally envisioned a grand Hall of Records where America's greatest historical documents and artifacts could be protected and shown to tourists. He managed to start the project, but cut only 70 feet (21 m) into the rock before work stopped in 1939 to focus on the faces. In 1998, an effort to complete Borglum's vision resulted in a repository being constructed inside the mouth of the cave housing 16 enamel panels that contained biographical and historical information about Mount Rushmore as well as the texts of the documents Borglum wanted to preserve there. The vault consists of a teakwood box (housing the 16 panels) inside of a titanium vault placed in the ground with a granite capstone. The text found on the 16 panels can be found below.
The ongoing conservation of the site is overseen by the National Park Service. Physical efforts to conserve the monument have included replacement of the sealant applied originally by Gutzon Borglum, which had proved ineffective at providing water resistance. The components of Borglum's sealant included linseed oil, granite dust, and white lead, but a modern silicone replacement is now used, disguised with granite dust.
In 1998, electronic monitoring devices were installed to track movement in the topology of the sculpture to an accuracy of three millimeters. The site was digitally recorded in 2009 using a terrestrial laser scanning method as part of the international Scottish Ten project, providing a high resolution record to aid the conservation of the site. This data was made publicly accessible online.
The flora and fauna of Mount Rushmore are similar to those of the rest of the Black Hills region of South Dakota. Birds including the turkey vulture, golden eagle, bald eagle, red-tailed hawk, swallows and white-throated swifts fly around Mount Rushmore, occasionally making nesting spots in the ledges of the mountain. Smaller birds, including songbirds, nuthatches, woodpeckers and flycatchers inhabit the surrounding pine forests. Terrestrial mammals include the mouse, least chipmunk, red squirrel, skunk, porcupine, raccoon, beaver, badger, coyote, bighorn sheep, bobcat, elk, mule deer, yellow-bellied marmot, and American bison. The striped chorus frog, western chorus frog, and northern leopard frog also inhabit the area, along with several species of snake. Grizzly Bear Brook and Starling Basin Brook, the two streams in the memorial, support fish such as the longnose dace and the brook trout. Mountain goats are not indigenous to the region. Those living near Mount Rushmore are descendants of a tribe that Canada gifted to Custer State Park in 1924, which later escaped.
At lower elevations, coniferous trees, mainly the ponderosa pine, surround most of the monument, providing shade from the sun. Other trees include the bur oak, the Black Hills spruce, and the cottonwood. Nine species of shrubs grow near Mount Rushmore. There is also a wide variety of wildflowers, including especially the snapdragon, sunflower, and violet. Towards higher elevations, plant life becomes sparser. However, only approximately five percent of the plant species found in the Black Hills are indigenous to the region.
The area receives about 18 inches (460 mm) of precipitation on average per year, enough to support abundant animal and plant life. Trees and other plants help to control surface runoff. Dikes, seeps, and springs help to dam up water that is flowing downhill, providing watering spots for animals. In addition, stones like sandstone and limestone help to hold groundwater, creating aquifers.
A study of the fire scars present in tree ring samples indicates that forest fires occur in the ponderosa forests surrounding Mount Rushmore around every 27 years. Large fires are not common. Most events have been ground fires that serve to clear forest debris. The area is a climax community. Recent pine beetle infestations have threatened the forest.
Mount Rushmore is largely composed of granite. The memorial is carved on the northwest margin of the Black Elk Peak granite batholith in the Black Hills of South Dakota, so the geologic formations of the heart of the Black Hills region are also evident at Mount Rushmore. The batholith magma intruded into the pre-existing mica schist rocks during the Proterozoic, 1.6 billion years ago. Coarse grained pegmatite dikes are associated with the granite intrusion of Black Elk Peak and are visibly lighter in color, thus explaining the light-colored streaks on the foreheads of the presidents.
The Black Hills granites were exposed to erosion during the Neoproterozoic, but were later buried by sandstone and other sediments during the Cambrian. Remaining buried throughout the Paleozoic, they were re-exposed again during the Laramide orogeny around 70 million years ago. The Black Hills area was uplifted as an elongated geologic dome. Subsequent erosion stripped the granite of the overlying sediments and the softer adjacent schist. Some schist does remain and can be seen as the darker material just below the sculpture of Washington.
The tallest mountain in the region is Black Elk Peak (7,242 ft or 2,207 m). Borglum selected Mount Rushmore as the site for several reasons. The rock of the mountain is composed of smooth, fine-grained granite. The durable granite erodes only 1 inch (25 mm) every 10,000 years, thus was more than sturdy enough to support the sculpture and its long-term exposure. The mountain's height of 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level made it suitable, and because it faces the southeast, the workers also had the advantage of sunlight for most of the day.
Mount Rushmore has a humid continental climate (Dwb in the Köppen climate classification). It is inside a USDA Plant Hardiness Zone of 5a, meaning certain plant life in the area can withstand a low temperature of no less than −20 °F (−29 °C).
Because of its fame as a monument, Mount Rushmore has been depicted in multiple places in popular culture. It is often depicted as a cover for a secret location; shown with faces removed or modified (as in Superman II), or added; or parodied. Trey Parker and Matt Stone used the location as the headquarters for their film Team America: World Police. National Treasure: Book of Secrets also depicts this location as a secret cover for a fictional gold city. The memorial was also famously used as the location of the climactic chase scene in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 movie North by Northwest. Deep Purple's breakthrough album, 1970's In Rock, parodies the sculpture.
The Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) had granted the Black Hills to the Lakota people in perpetuity, but the United States took the area from the tribe after the Great Sioux War of 1876. Members of the American Indian Movement led an occupation of the monument in 1971, naming it "Mount Crazy Horse", and Lakota holy man John Fire Lame Deer planted a prayer staff on top of the mountain. Lame Deer said that the staff formed a symbolic shroud over the presidents' faces "which shall remain dirty until the treaties concerning the Black Hills are fulfilled."
In 2004, Gerard Baker was appointed as superintendent of the park, the first and so far only Native American in that role. Baker stated that he will open up more "avenues of interpretation", and that the four presidents are "only one avenue and only one focus." The Crazy Horse Memorial is being constructed elsewhere in the Black Hills to commemorate the Native American leader as a response to Mount Rushmore. Upon completion, it will be larger than Mount Rushmore and has the support of Lakota chiefs. The Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation has rejected offers of federal funds, but it is the subject of controversy, even among Native American tribes.
On August 11, 1952, the U.S. Post Office issued the Mount Rushmore Memorial commemorative stamp on the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the Mt. Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota. On January 2, 1974, a stamp depicting the monument was also issued.
Mount Rushmore – a rocky outcropping the Lakota had called 'The Six Grandfathers,' named for the earth, the sky, and the four directions
The Black Elk Wilderness is located in the U.S. state of South Dakota. The wilderness was designated by an act of Congress in 1980. Managed by the U.S. Forest Service, Black Elk Wilderness is part of Black Hills National Forest. This 13,426 acre (54 km²) region is considered sacred to Native Americans, especially the Sioux and is named after Black Elk, an Oglala Sioux holy man. Mount Rushmore National Memorial is immediately to the north and much of the rest of the wilderness is bordered by other protected land under the jurisdiction of state and federal agencies.
Black Elk Peak, which at 7,242 feet (2,207 m) is the tallest mountain in South Dakota, is located in the wilderness, and one can see into four different states from the summit. Craggy peaks and rocky slopes mixed with ponderosa pine, spruce and fir trees make for a varied ecosystem. Mountain goats and bighorn sheep inhabit the more rugged mountain slopes, while mule deer, whitetail deer, and elk are more common in the forested valleys. A sizeable population of hawks and falcons also inhabit the wilderness.
U.S. Wilderness Areas do not allow motorized or mechanized vehicles, including bicycles. Although camping and fishing are allowed with proper permit, no roads or buildings are constructed and there is also no logging or mining, in compliance with the 1964 Wilderness Act. Wilderness areas within National Forests and Bureau of Land Management areas also allow hunting in season. By 2010, 80 percent of the trees in the wilderness had been killed by the Mountain pine beetle.Black Hills
The Black Hills (Lakota: Ȟe Sápa; Cheyenne: Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; Hidatsa: awaxaawi shiibisha) are a small and isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, United States. Black Elk Peak (formerly known as Harney Peak), which rises to 7,244 feet (2,208 m), is the range's highest summit. The Black Hills encompass the Black Hills National Forest. The name "Black Hills" is a translation of the Lakota Pahá Sápa. The hills were so-called because of their dark appearance from a distance, as they were covered in trees.Native Americans have a long history in the Black Hills. After conquering the Cheyenne in 1776, the Lakota took over the territory of the Black Hills, which became central to their culture. In 1868, the U.S. government signed the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, establishing the Great Sioux Reservation west of the Missouri River, and exempting the Black Hills from all white settlement forever. However, when settlers discovered gold there in 1874, as a result of George Armstrong Custer's Black Hills Expedition, miners swept into the area in a gold rush. The US government took back the Black Hills and in 1889 reassigned the Lakota, against their wishes, to five smaller reservations in western South Dakota, selling off 9 million acres of their former land. Unlike most of South Dakota, the Black Hills were settled by European Americans primarily from population centers to the west and south of the region, as miners flocked there from earlier gold boom locations in Colorado and Montana.
As the economy of the Black Hills has shifted from natural resources (mining and timber) since the late 20th century, the hospitality and tourism industries have grown to take its place. Locals tend to divide the Black Hills into two areas: "The Southern Hills" and "The Northern Hills". The Southern Hills is home to Mount Rushmore, Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, Black Elk Peak (the highest point in the United States east of the Rockies, formerly known as Harney Peak), Custer State Park (the largest state park in South Dakota), the Crazy Horse Memorial, and the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, the world's largest mammoth research facility.
Attractions in the Northern Hills include Spearfish Canyon, historic Deadwood, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, held each August. The first Rally was held on August 14, 1938 and the 75th Rally in 2015 saw more than 1 million bikers visit the Black Hills. Devils Tower National Monument, located in the Wyoming Black Hills, is an important nearby attraction and was the United States' first national monument.Construction of Mount Rushmore
The construction of Mount Rushmore National Memorial took 14 years, from 1927 to 1941.Crazy Horse Memorial
The Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain monument under construction on privately held land in the Black Hills, in Custer County, South Dakota, United States. It will depict the Oglala Lakota warrior, Crazy Horse, riding a horse and pointing into the distance. The memorial was commissioned by Henry Standing Bear, a Lakota elder, to be sculpted by Korczak Ziolkowski. It is operated by the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit organization.
The memorial master plan includes the mountain carving monument, an Indian Museum of North America, and a Native American Cultural Center. The monument is being carved out of Thunderhead Mountain, on land considered sacred by some Oglala Lakota, between Custer and Hill City, roughly 17 miles (27 km) from Mount Rushmore. The sculpture's final dimensions are planned to be 641 feet (195 m) long and 563 feet (172 m) high. The arm of Crazy Horse will be 263 feet (80 m) long and the head 87 feet (27 m) high; by comparison, the heads of the four U.S. Presidents at Mount Rushmore are each 60 feet (18 m) high.
The monument has been in progress since 1948 and is far from completion. If completed as designed, it would become the world's second tallest sculpture, after the Statue of Unity.Custer State Park
Custer State Park is a South Dakota State Park and wildlife reserve in the Black Hills, United States. The park is South Dakota's largest and first state park, named after Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer.
The area originally started out as sixteen sections, but was later changed into one block of land because of the challenges of the terrain.
The park began to grow rapidly in the 1920s and gained new land. During the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps built miles of roads, laid out parks and campgrounds, and built three dams that set up a future of water recreation at the park. In 1964 an additional 22,900 acres (93 km2) were added to the park.
The park covers an area of over 71,000 acres (287 km2) of hilly terrain and is home to many wild animals.
The park is home to a famous herd of 1500 free roaming bison. Elk, coyotes, mule deer, white tailed deer, mountain goats, prairie dogs, bighorn sheep, river otters, pronghorn, cougars, and feral burros also inhabit the park. The park is famous for its scenery, its scenic drives (Needles Highway and the wildlife loop), with views of the bison herd and prairie dog towns. This park is easily accessible by road from Rapid City. Other nearby attractions are Wind Cave National Park, Mount Rushmore, Jewel Cave National Monument, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Badlands National Park.
The popularity of the park grew in 1927, when U.S. President Calvin Coolidge made it his "summer White House" and announced from the Black Hills that he would not seek a second full term in office in the election of 1928.Doane Robinson
Jonah LeRoy "Doane" Robinson (October 19, 1856 – November 27, 1946) was a state historian of South Dakota who conceived of the idea for the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.Gutzon Borglum
John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum (March 25, 1867 – March 6, 1941) was an American artist and sculptor. He is most associated with his creation of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota. He was associated with other public works of art, including a bust of Abraham Lincoln exhibited in the White House by Theodore Roosevelt and now held in the United States Capitol Crypt in Washington, D.C..Lincoln Borglum
James Lincoln de la Mothe Borglum (April 9, 1912 – January 27, 1986) was an American sculptor, photographer, author and engineer; he was best known for overseeing the completion of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial after the death in 1941 of the project's leader, his father, Gutzon Borglum. One of his best-known works, a bust of his father, is on display outside the Lincoln Borglum Visitors Center at Mount Rushmore.Modern United States commemorative coins
The United States resumed minting commemorative coins in 1982 for the 250th anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Modern commemoratives tend to be restricted to events, buildings and personalities of national or international importance. While silver dollars remain the traditional denomination, low-value circulating commemoratives have gained in popularity.Mount Rushmore (band)
Mount Rushmore was a rock band in the late 1960s from San Francisco, California that played a heavy blues rock style with psychedelic elements.
The band formed in early 1967 at 1915 Oak Street, a large Victorian rooming house in the Haight-Ashbury district. The original members were Ed Levin (ex-Vipers), Warren Phillips (ex Blue House Basement), Thomas Dotzler, Mike Bolan and Danny Wei. Wei was soon replaced by Terry Kimble on bass guitar. In June and July 1967 they were featured on posters for shows at the Avalon Ballroom with many other bands including The Doors, Procol Harum, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Grateful Dead, Steve Miller, Santana, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Big Brother and the Holding Company. In June 1967 Mount Rushmore played 2 sets at The KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival; it was just one week before the Monterey Pop Festival which is considered the world's first "Rock Festival". In March 1968 Dotzler left to join local band Phoenix, and was soon followed by Phillips and Levin. Bolan and Kimble added Glenn Smith and Travis Fullerton to the line up and the group made two albums.Mount Rushmore in popular culture
Because of its fame as a monument, Mount Rushmore in South Dakota has appeared frequently in works of fiction, and has been discussed or depicted in other popular works.Official National Lampoon Bicentennial Calendar 1976
Official National Lampoon Bicentennial Calendar 1976 was an American humorous calendar that was published in 1975 as a spin-off from National Lampoon magazine. It was written and compiled by Christopher Cerf and Bill Effros.
The cover art is a drawing of Mount Rushmore showing a bullet hole in the forehead of the sculpture of US President Abraham Lincoln (a reference to his assassination in 1865).Peter Norbeck
Peter Norbeck (August 27, 1870 – December 20, 1936) was an American politician from South Dakota. After serving one term as the ninth Governor of South Dakota, Norbeck was elected to three consecutive terms as a United States Senator. Norbeck was the first native-born Governor of South Dakota to serve in office, and the first native-born U.S. Senator from South Dakota. (Norbeck was born in the portion of the Dakota Territory that would later become the state of South Dakota). He is best remembered as "Mount Rushmore's great political patron", for promoting the construction of the giant sculpture at Mount Rushmore and securing federal funding for it.Rapid City Journal
The Rapid City Journal (formerly the Black Hills Journal and the Rapid City Daily Journal) is the daily newspaper of Rapid City, South Dakota. It is the second-largest newspaper in South Dakota and covers Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
The newspaper also publishes the Sturgis Rally Daily and Compass, which are two special supplements. The Sturgis Rally Daily is published during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and Compass' is the weekly tourism and entertainment tab.South Dakota
South Dakota ( (listen)) is a U.S. state in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux Native American tribes, who compose a large portion of the population and historically dominated the territory. South Dakota is the seventeenth largest by area, but the fifth smallest by population and the 5th least densely populated of the 50 United States. As the southern part of the former Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889, simultaneously with North Dakota. Pierre is the state capital and Sioux Falls, with a population of about 187,200, is South Dakota's largest city.
South Dakota is bordered by the states of North Dakota (to the north), Minnesota (to the east), Iowa (to the southeast), Nebraska (to the south), Wyoming (to the west), and Montana (to the northwest). The state is bisected by the Missouri River, dividing South Dakota into two geographically and socially distinct halves, known to residents as "East River" and "West River".Eastern South Dakota is home to most of the state's population, and the area's fertile soil is used to grow a variety of crops. West of the Missouri, ranching is the predominant agricultural activity, and the economy is more dependent on tourism and defense spending. Most of the Native American reservations are in West River. The Black Hills, a group of low pine-covered mountains sacred to the Sioux, are in the southwest part of the state. Mount Rushmore, a major tourist destination, is there. South Dakota has a temperate continental climate, with four distinct seasons and precipitation ranging from moderate in the east to semi-arid in the west. The state's ecology features species typical of a North American grassland biome.
Humans have inhabited the area for several millennia, with the Sioux becoming dominant by the early 19th century. In the late 19th century, European-American settlement intensified after a gold rush in the Black Hills and the construction of railroads from the east. Encroaching miners and settlers triggered a number of Indian wars, ending with the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. Key events in the 20th century included the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, increased federal spending during the 1940s and 1950s for agriculture and defense, and an industrialization of agriculture that has reduced family farming.
While several Democratic senators have represented South Dakota for multiple terms at the federal level, the state government is largely controlled by the Republican Party, whose nominees have carried South Dakota in each of the last 13 presidential elections. Historically dominated by an agricultural economy and a rural lifestyle, South Dakota has recently sought to diversify its economy in areas to attract and retain residents. South Dakota's history and rural character still strongly influence the state's culture.Sylvan Lake (South Dakota)
Sylvan Lake is a lake located in Custer State Park, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, United States. It was created in 1881 when Theodore Reder built a dam (the Sylvan Lake Water Dam) across Sunday Gulch Creek. The lake area offers picnic places, rock climbing, small rental boats, swimming, and hiking trails. It is also popular as a starting point for excursions to Black Elk Peak and The Needles. A hotel was operated on the shore of the lake in the early 20th century .The lake was featured in Disney's 2007 film National Treasure: Book of Secrets. The film made the lake appear to be located directly behind Mount Rushmore when in reality it is actually five miles southwest of Mount Rushmore.Vehicle registration plates of South Dakota
The U.S. state of South Dakota first required its residents to register their motor vehicles in 1905. Registrants provided their own license plates for display until 1913, when the state began to issue plates.Washington Monument Syndrome
The Washington Monument syndrome, also known as the Mount Rushmore Syndrome, or the firemen first principle, is the process of government agencies in the United States cutting the most visible or appreciated services provided by the government when faced with budget cuts. It has been used in reference to cuts in popular services, such as national parks and libraries, or to valued public employees, such as teachers and firefighters. It is done to put pressure on the public and lawmakers to rescind budget cuts. The term can also refer to claims by lawmakers that a proposed budget cut would hinder "essential" government services (firefighters, police, education, etc.).
Although intended to highlight the government's value to voters, the Washington Monument Syndrome can also be aimed at lawmakers themselves. For instance, faced with budget cuts in the 1970s, Amtrak announced plans to cease train routes in the home districts of several members of Congress.The term was first used after George Hartzog, the seventh director of the National Park Service, closed popular national parks, including the Washington Monument and Grand Canyon National Park, for two days a week in 1969. In response to complaints, Congress eventually restored funding and Hartzog resigned.Architectural historian Nicole Sully has termed the shutdown of the "Pandacam" at the National Zoo and the fencing off of the National World War II Memorial during the United States federal government shutdown of 2013 to be examples of the "syndrome." Sully writes: "In reality, the closure of these monuments was likely to have been undertaken, firstly, for reasons of public liability, maintenance and security, and secondly, to ensure that the shutdown was made visible to the public – and it was for this latter reason that it was widely questioned by the public and the media."
|Climate data for Mount Rushmore National Memorial, 1981-2011 normals|
|Record high °F (°C)||68
|Average high °F (°C)||36.3
|Daily mean °F (°C)||27.5
|Average low °F (°C)||18.7
|Record low °F (°C)||−38
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||0.38
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||5.8
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01)||4.3||4.7||6.3||8.2||11.9||12.6||11.4||9.3||7.4||6.8||4.4||4.2||91.5|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1)||3.9||3.8||3.9||3.1||0.6||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.3||1.4||2.7||3.4||23.1|
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