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Dynamite Presidents!

Four of the nation's presidents are carved into Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Do you know how they got there?

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum and more than 350 workers used dynamite to sculpture most of the 60-foot busts of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. Borglum began his masterwork in 1927 and it was completed by Borglum's son, Lincoln, in October 1941 (his father died in March 1941). The sculpture was intended to memorialize the birth (Washington), growth (Jefferson), preservation (Lincoln) and development (Roosevelt) of the United States.

'Workmen on face of Geo. Washington, Mt. Rushmore,' ca. 1932 Gutzon Borglum, sculptor, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing left

A little-known fact about Mount Rushmore is this: In 1937, a bill was introduced in Congress to add the head of Susan B. Anthony, but a rider on an appropriations bill in Congress was passed to require that funds be used to finish only those heads that had already been started. The monument is also featured in one of the most famous scenes in movies: the chase in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 thriller, "North by Northwest." A movie still from that film, with Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint is in the collections of the Prints and Photographs Division. (Grant and Saint were not on the mountain itself but on a Rushmore reproduction in a film studio.) The division's Online Catalog offers a rich source of images selected from one of the world's largest archives of photographs, prints and other graphic materials. If you type in "Hitchcock" on this search page, there will be many links to images of the master of suspense and the films he directed.

You can test your knowledge of the four Mount Rushmore presidents by playing the Dynamite Presidents game in America's Library, a Web site for kids and families. Once you have finished "carving" the memorial, you can link to stories about these presidents. America's Library was developed to provide fascinating and educational stories about our nation's past using the extraordinary online materials of the Library of Congress. These presidents and many more "Amazing Americans" are in the first section of this Web site. You can also "Jump Back in Time," "Explore the States," "Join America at Play" and "See, Hear and Sing."

The Library houses the papers of 23 U.S. presidents. The papers of Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln and "The Life and Times of Roosevelt on Film" are available in American Memory, which features 8 million items from the Library and other institutions presented in more than 120 thematic presentations. In addition to the presentations mentioned here, there are many others with items relating to these presidents, such as "Selected Civil War Photographs" and "I Do Solemnly Swear...: Presidential Inaugurations." If you go to the American Memory Collection Finder Search page and type in the name of any of these presidents, you will be amazed by the number of relevant items you find.

A. "Workmen on face of Geo. Washington, Mt. Rushmore," ca. 1932. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction information: Call No.: U.S. GEOG FILE - South Dakota--Mt. Rushmore [P&P]; Reproduction No.: LC-USZ62-121165 (b&w film copy neg.)

B. [Gutzon Borglum, sculptor, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing left], 1925. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction information: Call No.: NYWTS - BIOG--Borglum, Gutzon & Mrs--Sculptor [item] [P&P]; Reproduction No.: LC-USZ62-127475 (b&w film copy neg.) Restrictions Notebook.

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