Room For Another President At 70-Year-Old Mt. Rushmore?

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mount-rushmoreGiven their way, some conservatives would jump at any chance to round out South Dakota’s iconic Mt. Rushmore with their hero 40th president, Ronald Reagan.

“Reagan was the most successful president of the 20th century,” Reagan Legacy Project Chairman Grover Norquist told Devin Dwyer of ABC News earlier this year. “He took a country that was in economic collapse and military in retreat round the globe and turned it completely around.

Congress rejected the notion 12 years ago but the monument’s 70th birthday today is a reminder that the monument of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt is incomplete with or without another face: The sculptor died before finishing Washington’s waist and coat, and Lincoln’s hands, according to the Rapid City, S.D., tourism website.

Here are some other things you might not know about the memorial to U.S. history:

* The project took 14 years and cost about $1 million;
* The carvings are scaled to people who would be 465 feet tall;
* Each head is 6 stories tall;
* The carvings displaced 800 million pounds of stone;
* The noses are 20 feet long;
* The workers climbed 506 steps each day.

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum, who started the project at age 60, died unexpectedly seven months before the project was declared complete Oct. 31, 1941, built on his desire to “show posterity what manner of men they were. Then breathe a prayer that these records will endure until the wind and the rain alone shall wear them away.”

{Good Morning America/ Newscenter}


  1. While I think Ronald Reagan was a great president, given the current economy this is not a good project. We don’t have money for this right now.

  2. Robert Lenzner, Forbes Staff

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    Teddy Roosevelt Was Snubbed By His Rich Harvard Classmates For Being Anti-Wall Street

    Former President Teddy Roosevelt returned to Harvard for his 30th reunion and graduation in 1910– and as he entered the proceedings all his classmates including fellow Porcellian Club members turned their backs on him in unison. TR’s latest biographer Edmund Morris believes this shocking snub in public of a former President was due to TR’s strong belief in regulating Wall Street, breaking up monopolies and not allowing a few wealthy men run the nation.

    Think of that extraordinary event; some 22 years before TR’s 5th cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt was called “a traitor to his class” Teddy was getting the same treatment. Barack Obama should take heart from those historical experiences. The Gilded Age was followed by the Progressive Era of tough laws and court actions against Robber Barons who controlled state legislatures and Congress with their anti-trust legislation.

    Then came the Roaring Twenties and the Crash, followed by the Great Depression– and then the New Deal– which created the blessed Glass-Steagall Act– which separated investment banking from commercial banking, plus the WPA and other make work programs that gave the unemployed a reason for living and put food in their mouths. Some 20 years later the stock market reached its old pre-crash peak and the economy powered by pent up consumer purchases, roared ahead.

    It could be said- I’ll say it– that both Roosevelts saved capitalism from its unfair excesses and stabilized the financial industry to help finance American industry. And that’s what George Bush did in 2008, followed by Barack Obama in 2009. Yes, once again, the wealthy loathe a liberal President– and their most radical members want to cut social programs to the retired and the middle class, while holdng onto all their gains, even in death if the estate tax is deep sixed. (It had better not be)

    So, the best thing that could happen to Obama is to be snubbed by much of Wall Street, toughen up, and knowing the score, stick to his guns at a fairer deal for everyone. Act, behave and speak in the tradition of the two Roosevelts.

  3. Obama got bin laden, toppled Khadaffi, brought true American Liberalism to light and is the first black president. I think he might get the throw.

  4. I support Ronald Reagan but I think it would be disrespectful to John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum to put another head up there.


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