Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

Franklin Delano Roosevelt pictured in 1933.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt pictured in 1933.
Library of Congress
August 25, 2017

IN HISTORY: Franklin Roosevelt Attends Dedication of Thomas Jefferson at Mount Rushmore

On August 30th, 1936 Franklin D. Roosevelt attended the dedication ceremony for the head Thomas Jefferson’s at Mount Rushmore. According to South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Roosevelt was already in the region touring regions that were devastated by the drought of the 1930s.

Roosevelt regarded his visit to the monument as an informal affair, as he didn’t view the natural setting as an appropriate venue for pomp and circumstance. During his succinct remarks, Roosevelt spoke of the monument’s tenacity and asked attendants to “meditate and wonder what our descendants...will think of us.” He hoped that future generations would reflect kindly on previous generations and take note of their hard work and labor in preserving American soil.

The completion of the Jefferson sculpture marked the monument’s second complete face. George Washington’s sculpture was finished six years prior to Jefferson’s. Originally, Jefferson was to be located to Washington’s left, but sculptors found the stone there too weak and relocated Jefferson to Washington’s right. Lincoln’s likeness was completed shortly after Jefferson in 1937. Teddy Roosevelt was the last to be completed in 1939.

View more photos of Mount Rushmore on the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s digital archives.

Related items

  • Historic SD Properties Join National Register

    Eight South Dakota properties were recently added to the National Register of Historic Places, reports the Rapid City Journal. These include five in the West…
  • Rapid City Council Adopts Expanded Panhandling Rules

    Rapid City’s Common Council voted unanimously to adopt new rules for downtown panhandling at their March 4th meeting, despite vocal opposition from meeting attendees and…
  • Over 200 Joined Native American Day Memorial March

    On Monday, Rapid City celebrated Native American Day, and honored Native children who died at the Rapid City Indian School in the late 19th and…

525 University Loop, Suite 202
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 716-0058   [email protected]