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American History Tellers

America's Monuments | Four Faces | 3

In 1927, workers began blasting granite rock off a towering cliff in South Dakota’s Black Hills. It was the start of an arduous 14-year struggle to carve the portraits of four American presidents into Mount Rushmore.

The feat required grueling labor in extreme conditions. And it was led by an obsessive sculptor named Gutzon Borglum. Borglum was the creative genius behind Rushmore, with a talent and ego as big as the monument itself. But he was also the biggest threat to its completion.

His masterpiece would become one of the most iconic — and controversial — monuments in America. 

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