Nestled in the Black Hills of South Dakota, lies the imposing figures of four past Presidents of the United States.
Majestically carved into the rock of Mount Rushmore between 1927 and 1941 by sculptor Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln, the imposing monument hosts three million visitors yearly.
Mr. Borglum chose four presidents whom he believed embodied the first 150 years of U.S. history.
George Washington (1789-1797), was the nation's first president and thus represents the BIRTH of the country. One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Washington was the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.
Though the title was not coined until after her death, Martha Washington is considered to be the first First Lady of the United States.
Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809), who nearly doubled the coutry's physical size through the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, symbolizes the EXPANSION of the nation. The third President of the United States, Jefferson was another of the country's Founding Fathers and the main author of the Declaration of Independence.
Devoted to her second husband Thomas, Martha Jefferson was highly educated, musical and an accomplished needlewoman. Some examples of her embrodery survive today.
Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865), represents the PRESERVATION of the nation as he managed to hold the union together while abolishing slavery. A persuasive orator, Lincoln, the 16th President, led the United States through one of its most difficult periods, the Civil War.
Mary Todd Lincoln was a great support to her husband. Having come from a weathy family, she was well educated and poised.
Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909), represents the DEVELOPMENT of the country as he fostered the construction of the Panama Canal (1904-1914). The 26th President, Roosevelt, was also greatly responsible for the preservation of million of acres of natural lands through the creation of national parks and forests.
His second wife Edith Roosevelt, who was reserved and efficient supported her husband in her duties as the nation's First Lady.