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Carved into a granite cliff, the sculptures of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial depict four great United States presidents.
Mount Rushmore, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Borglum, Washington, Jefferson, rock relief, relief, president, South Dakota, rock, memorial, politician, politics, America, USA, North America, granite, symbol, mountain, history
George Washington was born into a landowning family in Virginia in 1732. Living the life of the elite as a child and young man, he received an excellent education. Later, he was trained in land surveying at the College of William and Mary and started working as a surveyor and mapmaker.
His military career began in 1752, when he was appointed district adjutant of the Virginia militia with the rank of major. He was promoted to colonel two years later, during the French and Indian War.
By the early 1770s, Washington had become one of the most prominent figures in the State of Virginia, and was selected as one of the state's delegates to the First Continental Congress in 1774.
In 1775, at the Second Continental Congress, Washington was elected Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. With his courage and military tactics, he led the American army to victory in the Revolutionary War, thus securing the American colonies' independence from Britain.
Besides his military role, Washington also played an important part in negotiating the peace treaty that granted independence to the colonies, and then in drafting the constitution and consolidating of this fledging country.
In 1789 the Electoral College elected him the first President of the United States. As president, he was committed to a policy of unity and neutrality.
At the end of his second term, he refused to run for a third term; he decided instead to retire to his estate, Mount Vernon, and devote most of his time to his business interests.
He died of a throat infection in 1799, at the age of 67.
One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, he was called the "Father of His Country" during his lifetime. The nation's capital and one of the states are named after him.
The third President of the United States was born into a wealthy slave-owning family in 1743. He enjoyed reading and started learning foreign languages at a young age. Due to his eagerness to study, he acquired an extensive knowledge. He studieda law and began working in that field.
Jefferson's political career began in 1775 when he attended the Second Contintental Congress as a delegate from Virginia. Here, thanks to John Adams' support, he was appointed to the Committee of Five formed to write the Declaration of Independence.
Later, he became a state legislator, then, in 1779, he was elected Governor of Virginia. From 1784, he was in Europe as U.S. Minister to France, and was therefore unable to take part in drafting the U.S. Constitution.
In 1790, Jefferson was appointed Secretary of State, and, seven years later, he became Vice President under John Adams. In 1801 he succeeded Adams as president and served two terms.
After retiring from the presidency, he mainly focused on education. In 1814, Jefferson decided to sell his own book collection to replace the previous holdings at the Library of Congress, which had been destroyed during the War of 1812. In 1819, he founded the University of Virginia, which was the first institution of higher education to be free from any religious influence.
Jefferson died at his estate, Monticello, on the Fourth of July, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Incidentally, a few hours later John Adams also passed away. Jefferson was buried at Monticello, having left strict instructions on the epitaph to be carved on his gravestone: he wished to be remembered for his work for independence, religious freedom and education.
One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Jefferson's name is known worldwide as the drafter of the Declaration of Independence. Today his face is featured on the United States two-dollar bank note.
Theodore Roosevelt was born into a wealthy New York City family in 1858. He attended Harvard College and started his political career shortly after graduating, becoming a member of the Republican Party.
After joining, he was soon put forth as the party's candidate for the New York State Assembly in Albany and won. Then he served the United States Civil Service Commission under President Benjamin Harrison. In 1899, he was elected Governor of the state of New York.
Besides being an acclaimed political figure, he also became a famous military man. He was a lieutenant colonel in the 'Rough Riders' during the Spanish-American War. In 2001 he posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions.
In 1901 he became Vice President under William McKinley, when he was re-elected. After McKinley’s assassination Roosevelt succeeded him thereby becoming the youngest president ever, at the age of 42.
His domestic policy was characterized by the measures taken against trusts in the interest of fair competition. He also devoted a great deal of attention to natural conversation of the environment. In addition, he pursued a more assertive foreign policy. Like other presidents, Roosevelt was a Freemason, and, in the spirit of the builders who formed that society, he had an important role in the construction of the Panama Canal. Being a good mediator, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for his contribution to ending the Russo-Japanese War.
After the end of his second term, Roosevelt retired but did not stay away from politics. He died in his sleep at the age of 60, presumably of a blood clot.
An interesting fact about Roosevelt is that the teddy bear is named after him.
Abraham Lincoln was born into a poor family in 1809. He had a difficult childhood, but loved reading and educated himself. As a result of his dedication, Lincoln became a successful lawyer.
He started his political career as a member of the Whig Party and was elected to the Illinois state legislature in 1834 and then to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1846. In 1856 Lincoln joined the Republican Party.
In 1860 he won the presidential election by a landslide. The American Civil War, which was to some extent caused by his policy, was fought during his presidency. On January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in which he declared slaves free. In the same year he delivered what is probably the best-known speech in American history, the Gettysburg Address. In 1864 he was re-elected.
A few days after the Confederate States surrendered, Lincoln was shot in the head by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. The president fell into a coma and died the next morning.
Situated in South Dakota, Mount Rushmore is not known for its natural features; it is famous for the sculptures carved into its south-eastern face.
The sculptures depict the heads of four great U.S. presidents, and were created by Danish-American sculptor Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum.
The project was carried out between 1927 and 1941; about 400 workers took part. Borglum constructed a "pointing machine" to transfer the exact dimensions of his models to the mountain. Dynamite was used to remove excess granite; altogether, more than 400,000 tonnes of rock were blasted off the mountain. The details were then carved with pneumatic drills.
The gigantic carvings portray the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln – although the original plan was to depict them from the waist up.
The heads are about 60 feet tall and can be found at a height of nearly 500 feet from the base. The noses are about 20 feet long, while the eyes and mouths are 11½ feet and 18 feet wide, respectively.
The national memorial, also called the "shrine of democracy" is visited by millions of tourists annually; it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the U.S.
The American bison is the largest land animal in North America.
Several European countries joined the conquest of the New World, making America a colorful continent.
The suspension bridge that stretches above the strait between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean was opened in 1937.
Jamestown, founded in 1607, was the first permanent English settlement on the east coast of North America.
The Crow are Native Americans who inhabited the Yellowstone River valley.
Several political and economic unions have been formed between countries during the past decades.
The American Civil War was fought between the Confederacy and the Union.
This animation demonstrates the states and largest cities of the USA.
A rock relief located in Northeast Bulgaria, probably carved at the end of the 7th century.
The statue was donated by the French to the USA for the centenary of gaining independence.
One of the best known buildings in the world, this is the residence and office of the President of the United States.
The US Marine Corps is an important branch of the US Armed Forces, with about 200 thousand, specially trained members.