American Experience - Season 14, Episode 6 - Rotten Tomatoes

Mount Rushmore

EPISODE:

Episode Info

Mount Rushmore narrates the story of the one of America's most beloved monuments and the artist who crafted it. Driven by ego and self-confidence, sculptor Gutzon Borglum made a reputation for himself by carving a bust of Lincoln that Teddy Roosevelt displayed in the White House. When offered a chance to fashion a 1,500 feet Confederate memorial at Sand Mountain in Georgia, he eagerly accepted the commission. Ten years later, with little progress made, he quarreled with the backers, destroyed the models for the project, and walked away. He received another chance to execute his vision writ large when Doane Robinson suggested a similar project in South Dakota. The two decided that portraits of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt would be carved on Mount Rushmore. Because of a shortage of funds, scarcity of skilled workers, and extreme weather, it would take Borglum and his son 14 years to complete the project. Interviews with family members, project workers, and writers supplement historical film footage and narration by Michael Murphy.

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