Skip to main content
FDR at Mount Rushmore - 1936
Email share
Franklin D. Roosevelt at Mount Rushmore, 1936

On August 30, 1936, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited the Black Hills to dedicate the Jefferson sculpture. Roosevelt was already in the region on a tour of Great Plains states hard-hit by the drought of the 1930s.

In the photo above, sculptor Gutzon Borglum stands to Roosevelt's left. South Dakota Governor Tom Berry is on FDR's right.

The clip below contains two newsreel films. In the second, Roosevelt is shown speaking extemporaneously about the significance of Mount Rushmore and its place in history.

Much more historical footage is available in PBS's "American Experience: 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.