By Karen McBride
Nestled in the Black Hills of South Dakota lie 60-foot replicas of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Mt. Rushmore National Memorial is a tribute to our founding fathers and past presidents. It is an incredible experience to see the majestic profiles of our former presidents engraved in stone.
The Bible teaches us the importance of praying for our leaders.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV): Pray for those in authority
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
As we celebrate President’s Day this year on February 19, please pray for our leaders both present and future. Take a moment to remember the brave people who have served our country, establishing it with a foundation in God.
Here is a little about the four men who have made such a significant impact on our country that their likenesses have been engraved in remembrance.
• George Washington, the first President of the United States, led the colonists in the American Revolutionary War to gain independence from Great Britain.
• Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and third President of the United States. He also purchased the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803, which doubled the size of our country at the time.
• Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States. A few of his great accomplishments included negotiating the construction of the Panama Canal which linked the east and the west. He also worked to end large corporate monopolies and ensure the rights of the common working man. As an outdoorsman and conservationist, he preserved parks, forests, and wildlife.
• Abraham Lincoln led the country through the Civil War. As the 16th President of the United States, his greatest accomplishment for the betterment of our society is the part he played to end slavery.
The Artist Behind the Design
Sculptor Gutzon Borglum’s artistic career began early in life when he painted a portrait of General John C. Fremont which gained him recognition and acclaim. He later moved to France and travelled throughout Europe honing his craft at the Julien Academy and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
When his interests turned to sculpting in bronze and marble, he created a bust of Abraham Lincoln. The artwork was displayed in a store window in New York where it was later purchased and donated to the people of the United States. It is displayed in the Capitol Building to this day.
Helen Plane, President of the United Daughters of the Confederacy saw the sculpture and contacted Borglum about creating the head of Robert E. Lee on the side of Stone Mountain in Georgia. His artistic mind saw that a single-person profile was much too small for such a large canvas, so he drew a large group including Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis on horseback followed by a column of soldiers.
The work on Stone Mountain was delayed due to World War I. Unfortunately, Borglum and the businessmen directing the project did not see eye to eye and he was dismissed from the project.
But this setback led him to Doane Robinson, State Historian of South Dakota. She contacted him about providing his artistic vision to a mountain carving in the Black Hills. Work began on Mt. Rushmore in 1927. Borglum remained with the project until his death in 1941, and then his son, Lincoln, carried on his father’s vision to completion in 1943.
Location and Visitor Information
Mt. Rushmore is located at 13000 Highway 244, Building 31, Suite 1, Keystone, SD 57751. Weather permitting, the grounds at Mount Rushmore are open every day of the year. The Information Center, Visitor Center, Gift Shop and Carvers’ Cafe are open every day except December 25th. The hours may vary, so be sure to check the website before you go. https://www.nps.gov/moru/index.htm
Learn More About Biblical Citizenship
As the country celebrates Presidents’ Day, we should take the time to learn how our government and our country was founded on God’s Word.
There is a great program that will take you through the history of our government and how it was formed with God at the center. Politicians were devoted to making the country a better place, willing to put their lives on the line, and not just in it for the money. Remember John F. Kennedy’s famous line “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” It is time we had politicians with this belief again.
Rick Green, of Patriot Academy, teaches Biblical Citizenship with Kirk Cameron, David Barton, and other speakers, including Rick Green’s children. The lessons teach us the importance of knowing our constitutional rights and the responsibilities we hold as citizens to keep our country One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All. To read more about it and to find out how you can host a study in your home, visit https://www.patriotacademy.com/biblicalcitizenship.