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90 Years: Mount Rushmore

On August 10, 1927 President Calvin Coolidge donned a cowboy hat, boots, spurs and rode a horse to the dedication of the Mount Rushmore site. After his speech, he presented drills to sculpture Gutzon Borglum. Borglum then descended via bosun chair to deliver the first few strokes. Sculpting would begin in earnest two months later and continue until 1941.

President Coolidge delivering his Mount Rushmore site dedication speech

At completion, the project cost $989,992.32, saw 450,000 tons of rock blasted off the mountainside, and, most impressively, no lives were lost during the process.

The original concept for a large carved memorial belonged to South Dakota state historian Doane Robinson in 1923. It's purpose? To bring in more tourist traffic to the area. Today, the site receives over two million visitors annually.

Click Here to view silent film footage of President Coolidge's visit.

Click Here to view a .pdf of President Coolidge's site dedication speech.


'90 Years' blog entries will feature historical happenings and news that surrounded the Long family at the beginning of our Cadillac dealership in 1927

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