One of the perks of being a history geek is having some interesting old things. A piece I wrote about Mount Rushmore yesterday triggered a memory of an old issue of American Heritage from 1977. At about the same time Star Wars was redefining the movies forever, the self-proclaimed “Magazine of History” ran a story about the carving of Mount Rushmore. It’s the sort of a story that you probably couldn’t find on a newsstand today, at any price (and do newsstands even exist anymore?).
I love these unique views of the Lincoln sculpture on Mount Rushmore. The cover shot shows the type of maintenance work that is done on the sculptures’ faces to prevent them from cracking. Lincoln had no work done in life, but he’s probably a constant battle in these times. And the second image, which was taken from atop Washington’s head, shows some of the detail on Lincoln’s face that probably isn’t visible from a distance. It shows how finely detailed the work on the faces really is, considering that –as with the cover image–the men doing the work were suspended in midair at the time.
Of all the Mount Rushmore images online, I was not able to locate these two through a Google search, so this could be their online debut. If that’s the case (and even if it isn’t), I’m happy to present the images here. Rushmore is an American shrine, and I’m glad to say that I’ve seen it a couple of times in person. If, for some reason, you have not, I humbly suggest that a trip to South Dakota in the not-too-distant future. It’s worth the long drive to get there.