Why These Four Presidents?

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Why These Four Presidents?

Gutzon Borglum selected these four presidents because from his perspective, they represented the most important events in the history of the United States. Would another artist at that time, or perhaps a modern artist choose differently? As you read more about Borglum’s choices, think about what you might have done if the decision was up to you. Photo of George Washington on Mount Rushmore.George Washington, First President of the United StatesBorn 1732, died 1799. Washington led the colonists in the American Revolutionary War to win independence from Great Britain. He was the father of the new country and laid the foundation of American democracy. Because of his importance, Borglum chose Washington to be the most prominent figure on the mountain and represent the birth of the United States.“The preservation of the sacred fire of Liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” George WashingtonOther places to learn more about George Washington:George Washington Birthplace National Monument
The White House – Presidents – George Washington Photo of Thomas Jefferson on Mount Rushmore.Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United StatesBorn 1743, died 1826. Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, a document which inspires democracies around the world. He also purchased the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803 which doubled the size of our country, adding all or part of fifteen present-day states. Gutzon Borglum chose Jefferson to represent the growth of the United States.“We act not for ourselves but for the whole human race. The event of our experiment is to show whether man can be trusted with self – government.” Thomas JeffersonOther places to learn more about Thomas Jefferson:

Thomas Jefferson Memorial National Memorial
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial National Memorial
The White House – Presidents – Thomas Jefferson Photograph of Theodore Roosevelt on Mount Rushmore.Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United StatesBorn 1858, died 1919. Roosevelt provided leadership when America experienced rapid economic growth as it entered the 20th Century. He was instrumental in negotiating the construction of the Panama Canal, linking the east and the west. He was known as the “trust buster” for his work to end large corporate monopolies and ensure the rights of the common working man. Borglum chose Roosevelt to represent the development of the United States.“The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight – that he shall not be a mere passenger.” Theodore RooseveltOther places to learn more about Theodore Roosevelt:

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
The White House – Presidents – Theodore Roosevelt Photo of Abraham Lincoln on Mount Rushmore.Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United StatesBorn 1809, died 1865. Lincoln held the nation together during its greatest trial, the Civil War. Lincoln believed his most sacred duty was the preservation of the union. It was his firm conviction that slavery must be abolished. Gutzon Borglum chose Lincoln to represent the preservation of the United States.“I leave you hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.” Abraham LincolnOther places to learn more about Abraham Lincoln:

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
Lincoln Home National Historic Site
Lincoln Memorial National Memorial
The White House – Presidents – Abraham Lincoln To learn more about these four presidents and all the others follow this link to the White House. List of United States Presidents with their years in office and party affiliation:1. George Washington1789 – 17972. John Adams1797 – 1801Federalist3. Thomas Jefferson1801 – 1809Democratic – Republican4. James Madison1809 – 1817Democratic – Republican5. James Monroe1817 – 1825Democratic – Republican6. John Quincy Adams1825 – 1829Democratic – Republican7. Andrew Jackson1829 – 1837Democrat8. Martin Van Buren1837 – 1841Democrat9. William Henry Harrison1841Whig10. John Tyler1841 – 1845Whig11. James K. Polk1845 – 1849Democrat12. Zachary Taylor1849 – 1850Whig13. Millard Fillmore1850 – 1853Whig14. Franklin Pierce1853 – 1857Democrat15. James Buchanan1857 – 1861Democrat16. Abraham Lincoln1861 – 1865Republican17. Andrew Johnson1865 – 1869Democrat18. Ulysses S. Grant1869 – 1877Republican19. Rutherford B. Hayes1877 – 1881Republican20. James A. Garfield1881Republican21. Chester A. Arthur1881 – 1885Republican22. Grover Cleveland1885 – 1889Democrat23. Benjamin Harrison1889 – 1893Republican24. Grover Cleveland1893 – 1897Democrat25. William McKinley1897 – 1901Republican26. Theodore Roosevelt1901 – 1909Republican27. William H. Taft1909 – 1913Republican28. Woodrow Wilson1913 – 1921Democrat29. Warren G. Harding1921 – 1923Republican30. Calvin Coolidge1923 – 1929Republican31. Herbert C. Hoover1929 – 1933Republican32. Franklin D. Roosevelt1933 – 1945Democrat33. Harry S. Truman1945 – 1953Democrat34. Dwight D. Eisenhower1953 – 1961Republican35. John F. Kennedy1961 – 1963Democrat36. Lyndon B. Johnson1963 – 1969Democrat37. Richard M. Nixon1969 – 1974Republican38. Gerald R. Ford1974 – 1977Republican39. Jimmy Carter1977 – 1981Democrat40. Ronald Reagan1981 – 1989Republican41. George H. W. Bush1989 – 1993Republican42. William J. Clinton1993 – 2001Democrat43. George W. Bush2001 – 2009Republican44. Barack Obama2009 – 2017Democrat45. Donald J. Trump2017 – 2021Republican46. Joseph R. Biden, Jr.2021 -Democrat
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