In 1923 South
Dakota state historian, Doane Robinson, conceived the idea of carving
a monument on one of the mountains of the Black Hills. Lewis and
Clark, Red Cloud, John C. Fremont were among the possible subjects. In
1924 he persuaded John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum, to consider the
project. He proposed Washington, "the father of the nation,"
Jefferson, who expanded the nation westward, Lincoln, the preserver of
the union, and Roosevelt , the builder of the Panama Canal. Work began
in 1927 and was finished in 1941 after Borglum died.
In addition to Mt. Rushmore
other works by Borglum, both sculptures and designs (the Confederate
Memorial), have been pictured on stamps.