History of the United States Of America - 1776 to 1904 - Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota, USA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Bon Echo
N 43° 52.670 W 103° 27.304
13T E 624118 N 4859464
Quick Description: One of two bronze timelines plaques located at the Borglum Viewing Terrace; this one was originally to be inscribed into the mountainside aside the four presidents.
Location: South Dakota, United States
Date Posted: 11/12/2015 12:41:54 PM
Waymark Code: WMPYQE
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
Views: 41

Long Description:
Original plans for the carving of Mount Rushmore included a large inscription called the Entablature. The sculptor of Mount Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum, intended to carve the Entablature in an area shaped like the territory of the Louisiana Purchase using large, three-foot tall letters. The Entablature was to be a brief history of the United States, symbolized by Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln, carved beside the four faces. The Entablature would emphasize that Mount Rushmore was a national memorial, commemorating the first 150 years of the United States, not just the lives of the four great men.

Initially, Calvin Coolidge was to write the History of the United States that would be carved on the Entablature, but he and Borglum disagreed on how the history should be worded. Calvin Coolidge died in 1933 before any definite wording was decided. In 1934, a national essay contest was launched by the Hearst newspapers to select a History of the United States to carve on the mountain. All contestants had to use the same nine dates for their time lines. Thousands of essays were submitted and a grand prize was awarded
for the best essay overall. The overall winner was John Edward Bradley.

On July 4, 1971, William Andrew Burkett, the College Division winner, donated a bronze plaque of his award-winning essay, written in 1934 while attending Omaha University Law School. The plaque now hangs on the Borglum Viewing Terrace at the memorial.

[The above information is taken from "History of the United States of America", National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior; (visit link) ]

According to information on the PBS website (visit link) :
"This submission, by a young Nebraskan named William Andrew Burkett, triumphed in the college-age category. Burkett won a four-year college scholarship and moved to California, achieving great success in business. He claimed he owed his good fortune to winning the contest. and later said he wanted to be buried near the monument. Eventually, Burkett had his essay inscribed on a bronze tablet and installed at Rushmore."

The plaque was presented by the National Historical Foundation on July 4th, 1971.

The text is not quite legible, so I am including the full text below [acquired from (visit link) ]


Almighty God, from this pulpit of stone the American people render thanksgiving and praise for the new era of civilization brought forth upon this continent. Centuries of tyrannical oppression sent to these shores, God-fearing men to seek in freedom the guidance of the benevolent hand in the progress toward wisdom, goodness toward men, and piety toward God.

Consequently, on July 4, 1776, our forefathers promulgated a principle never before successfully asserted, that life, liberty, equality, and pursuit of happiness were the birthrights of all mankind. In this declaration of independence beat a heart for all humanity. It declared this country free from British rule and announced the inalienable sovereignty of the people. Freedom's soldiers victoriously consecrated this land with their life's blood to be free forever more.

Then, in 1787, for the first time a government was formed that derived its just powers from the consent of the governed. General Washington and representatives from the 13 states formed this sacred Constitution, which embodies our faith in God and in mankind by giving equal participation in government to all citizens, distributing that powers of governing, threefold securing freedom of speech and of the press, establishing the right to worship the Infinite according to conscience, and assuring this nation's general welfare against an embattled world. This chart of national guidance has for more than 150 years weathered the ravages of time. Its supreme trial came under the pressure of civil war, 1861-65. The deadly doctrines of secession and slavery were then purged away in blood. The seal of the Union's finality set by President Lincoln, was accomplished like all our triumphs of law and humanity, through the wisdom and the power of an honest, Christian heart.

Far-sighted American statesmanship acquired by treaties, vast wilderness territories, where progressive, adventurous Americans spread civilization and Christianity.

In 1803, Louisiana was purchased from France. This acquisition extended from the Mississippi river, across the fertile prairie to the Rocky mountains, and paved the way for America's pre-eminence among the nations.

In 1819, the picturesque Florida peninsula was ceded as payment of Spanish obligations due to Americans.

In 1845, Texas, having patterned American democracy during the 10 years of freedom from Mexican rule, accepted the invitation to join the sisterhood of states. In 1846, the Oregon country was peacefully apportioned by the 49th parallel as the compromised international boundary of the two English-speaking nations.

In 1848, California and territory likewise rich in natural resources was acquired as the consequence of an inevitable conflict with Mexico. In spirit of mutual concession, the United States granted additional indemnities for the adjustment of the international boundary, extending form the Rio Grande to the Gulf of California.

In 1850, Texas willingly ceded the disputed Rio Grande region, thus ending the dramatic acquisition of the west.

In 1867, Alaska was purchased from Russia.

In 1904, the Panama Canal Zone was acquired for our people to build a navigable highway enabling the world's people to share the fruits of the earth and of human industry.

Now, these eras are welded into a nation possessing unity, liberty, power, integrity and faith in God, with responsible development of character and devoted to the performance of humanitarian duty.

Holding no fear of the economic and political, chaotic clouds hovering over the earth, the consecrated Americans dedicate this nation before God, to exalt righteousness and to maintain mankind's constituted liberties so long as the earth shall endure.


There is no entrance fee to visit the Mount Rushmore National Memorial; there is however a fee to park a vehicle at the memorial.

Parking Fees: Cars, Motorcycles and RVs $11 per vehicle
(note that the parking permit will be valid for one full year!)

The visitor facilities at Mount Rushmore National Memorial are open all year, seven days a week, with the exception of December 25th. On December 25th, all buildings are closed but the grounds remain open.

The grounds at Mount Rushmore are open the following hours:
October 1, 2015 - March 12, 2016 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
March 13, 2016 - September 30, 2016 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

For information of the opening hours for the various facilities at Mount Rushmore, please consult the official website (visit link)
Admission fee? (Include URL/link in Long Description to website that gives the current fee): no

Visit Instructions:

At least one good photo you have personally obtained and a brief story of your visit. Any additions or corrections to the information about the Waymark (for instance, have the hours open to the public changed) will be greatly appreciated.

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