Modern Marvels: Season 2, Episode 2

Mount Rushmore (11 Feb. 1996)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Documentary, History
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The story of Mount Rushmore is set against the backdrop of events and the changing mood of America which influenced the final sculpture. This program is as much a tribute to the dream of ... See full summary »



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Title: Mount Rushmore (11 Feb 1996)

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Episode credited cast:
William O. Farber ...
Himself - University of South Dakota
James Popovich ...
Himself - Archivist: National Park Service
Harlan Saperstein ...
Howard Shaff ...
Himself - Co-Author: 'Six Wars at a Time'
Dan Wenk ...
Himself - Superintendent: Mount Rushmore


The story of Mount Rushmore is set against the backdrop of events and the changing mood of America which influenced the final sculpture. This program is as much a tribute to the dream of Mount Rushmore and all those who created it as it is a recounting of the story of the monument. Written by David Foss

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11 February 1996 (USA)  »

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The History Of The USA's Most Famous Sculpture
13 March 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a 45-minute look at the most famous granite sculpture in the United States and a famous one world-wide. I imagine television doesn't do it justice; one has to see this in person to realize it's magnitude. I'd love to see it some day.

Biographies are given of the two men most responsible for this amazing achievement: Doane Robinson and Gutzon Borglum.

Robinson had the brainstorm for this great project. His desire was simply to attract tourists to his beloved South Dakota. But what would bring people out to middle of nowhere in the Badlands of South Dakota? A great carving into the face of Mount Rushmore. Who could do it? Well, probably nobody as much as Borglum. He already had experience, having worked on the Confederate Memorial Carving, better known as "Stone Mountain" in Georgia before he put a hat on Robert E. Lee's head and almost got tar-and-feathered out of the state! In addition, Borglum had done several amazing sculptures of Lincoln.

Most of the biographical material in this History Channel program was on Borglum and his son, Lincoln, who never got all the credit he should have received for his efforts.

You can read all about this achievement, which was never completed and which may surprise a lot of people, in history books and encyclopedias. For instance, there was going to be a huge room dug out of the granite for a "Hall Of Records." It never got finished. Suffice to say this program gives as much history as it can in the alloted time.

What was new to me was seeing Mount Rushmore BEFORE these huge faces were put into the granite. I also was amazed to see how daring these workers were, braving the cold and primitive working elements to carve these incredible figures.....with no casualties over the 16-year-period! Even more amazing was that many of these workers were recruited solely because they played baseball, and the organizer wanted a good ball team for the area!

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