Nearly three million people a year visit the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, which will celebrate its 75th birthday this year. The presidential memorial almost didn't happen. "The original thought was to depict Old West legends Wild Bill Hickok, Lewis & Clark, and the American Indian leader Red Cloud," says Jay Vogt, director of the South Dakota State Historical Society. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum vetoed the idea and pushed for a presidential angle.
"Wee" think he made the right decision. The 60-ft.-high granite faces depict U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Fun fact: 90% of Mount Rushmore was carved by dynamite and workers had to remove 450,000 tons of granite to create the landmark. Bet they had a blast!
Source: Southwest - The Magazine, February 2016 (You can find our American story everywhere - even at 35,000 feet).