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Calvin Coolidge at Mount Rushmore - 1927
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Calvin Coolidge

Film shot on August 10, 1927 shows President Calvin Coolidge riding a horse to the dedication of the Mount Rushmore site. There are also views of Mount Rushmore as it looked before carving began. The film is silent.

In the next clip, a narrator provides some detail about the events of the dedication. Coolidge addressed the assembly and presented sculptor Gutzon Borglum with steel drill bits, symbolically providing the tools to get the carving underway.

Learn more about the development and carving of Mount Rushmore in this clip from the PBS program "American Experience."

The complete "American Experience" project on Mount Rushmore is available online here. The site features more historical film and provides significantly more information about the beginnings and evolution of Mount Rushmore.

For Teachers: Activity idea is available at SDPB's Digital Learning Library.

For more information about presidential visits to South Dakota, visit the South Dakota State Historical Society Press Web site and view or download "Patriotic Pageantry: Presidential Visits to South Dakota" by Harold H. Schuler.