Mount Rushmore/Crazy Horse

Postnote July 6, 2020: “Largely Imaginary Foes


The last time I was at Mt. Rushmore was May 21, 2004.  The same day we stopped at Crazy Horse, across the way a few miles.  That day was my 5th visit to Mt. Rushmore; my third to Crazy Horse. (The first visit was 1971.)  On one of the memorable trips,  I had an opportunity to walk right up to Crazy Horse’s head; another time was spent learning a lot about Mt. Rushmore and Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor.  Take the time to learn the long history of the place called the Black Hills.

Below are a couple of pics from 2004, and here’s a map of their relative geographic location.

Tonight Mt. Rushmore is most in the news, and Crazy Horse may or may not merit any mention, so here’s an article about Crazy Horse from the Native American perspective.

Google the words Mount Rushmore for up to the moment comments.  There’ll be lots of words spilled.  Depending on your point of view, many you’ll like to hear, many you won’t.

Crazy Horse 2004

Mt. Rushmore 2004


A brief blog post “Politics”, published July 1.  Also, check “Monuments” at June 12.

July 4th:  Just Above Sunset, “The Odd Fourth”


Dick (personal):  I just returned from my daily walk.  Met a guy who said “have a good fourth” and I responded “thank you, and you as well”.  I wondered how authentic each of us were.  It is a very odd 4th this year.

Yesterday we took a short drive over to Afton, a small town whose fame in part is a large marina on the St. Croix River, part of the eastern border of Minnesota.  There is an ice cream store there, Selma’s, which is always a magnet.  This afternoon there was a long line and no apparent social distance or masking.  We didn’t stop.

At the end of todays walk I noticed no flags flying in the neighborhood.  I’ll pay closer notice to flags as the day goes on.  (NOTE: 1:10 p.m. I’ve been ‘out and about’ and there are flags here and there, but simply personal census, it seems like fewer than I normally see.  9:30 p.m.  The rest of the day included another drive including by the ice cream stand referred to above.  The clientele seemed to be minding quite well the recommended protocols.)

from Emmett:  I have also visited the two monuments a number of times and took that walk around Crazy Horse.  I think my last visit was in 2012.  Note that the opening below Crazy Horse’s arm will not get much bigger than the hole that now exists because of geological reasons.  The same is true about the actual location of  his horses head.  The four faces of Mount Rushmore would fit in the area made up of Crazy Horse’s face and hair.  The Crazy Horse monument is really huge.

But for now, the important thing is today’s celebration.  Here’s wishing you and all your family a Happy 4th of July.

from Molly, two short pieces relevant to the day: Molly for 4 July 2020 

from Joyce, an important and very informative commentary from Heather Cox Richardson.

Larry commented in the on-line comments (at end of post) and I responded as follows: Many thanks.  I, too, have been to the battlefield, in 1978, I’m sure it has been expanded since then. As you know, it is ‘off the beaten path’.  And I’ve been to Ft. Lincoln and Custer’s house.  I seem to recall he was a mediocre officer, but he had a genius for PR, like someone else we know.  So, he lives in infamy.  I’m glad that Crazy Horse endures, whether or not it is ever completed isn’t as relevant as that it’s got a very good start.

Larry replied as follows: Yup…we’re on the same page re Custer…nice job on the photos and text on that subject…you do a fine job…I want to get my blog up to date…JUST updated the Hiliners61 blog. I wrote a piece on Custer a few years ago after reading a couple of excellent histories on the battle and the “General.”  They’ve done some nice work with the Indian memorial. Crazy Horse wasn’t so crazy.  In case you feel up to it sometime, here’s the link to that column I wrote.

from Donna: What a time we are living in.  This is a picture of my mom on her honeymoon during the 30’s.

Mt. Rushmore, 1930s.  The wedding couple was from North Dakota.

Some of my ‘office flags’. The others are Philippines and Haiti.

3 replies
  1. Tom L Grezek
    Tom L Grezek says:

    Dick, great photos of Crazy Horse and Mt. Rushmore. I’ve visited several times over the years. The last time with my family and it snowed in the middle of June. My son and I panned some gold downstream from the Homestake Mine.
    Actually encountered an old prospector who loaned us his pan and taught us the technique.
    Incidentally, I’ve got a flagpole in my yard with a 3′ X 5′ and two smaller flags on the blvd. Happy 4th my frined!

  2. Larry Gauper
    Larry Gauper says:

    Excellent photographs of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial. About two years ago my spouse and I visited the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana. It was a touching and memorable experience visiting the 7th Cavalry Monument and the memorial to the Indians who fought in that historic battle. I am gratified that a memorial to the Indian fighters was added to what had only been the “Custer battlefield.” Of all the statues honoring military leaders, I don’t understand why George Armstrong Custer’s statue is standing on the grounds of the West Point Military Academy. He was not a General when he led his troops in a very badly planned confrontation with the Indians. He was a Lieutenant Colonel. When Custer went out to “fight Indians” he demonstrated how not to use troops in battle and he was an iconic spearhead of the way the United States was mal-treating Native American populations. Regarding Mount Rushmore, any attempt to “tear it down” is wrong-headed and going way too far in destroying American history.

  3. John Bernard
    John Bernard says:

    A couple of visits for me to Mount Rushmore/Crazy Horse. Herewith the most memorable:
    One is on my senior class trip in high school the 1966 – oh the good old days when one could take senior trip – It looked significantly different than it does now – they didn’t have all the fancy Avenue of the Flags – I Just remember and just a small visitor center and walk out to the viewing platform. (By the way – apparently the old Mississippi State Flag – yes, THAT one, was no longer flying).
    It was a memorable trip for several reasons – first off, we had qualified for the state baseball championship the week before the trip departed via school bus, and the championship playoff was scheduled to begin the day we were getting back (Please note the use of the corporate “we” in this case – even though several of the seniors were on the team, I was not). No problem! The two trip chaperones promised that the team would practice diligently in the Badlands and on the grounds of Mount Rushmore with hitting and fielding and pitching – and the itinerary was revised to get us to get to Minot the day before the tournament started. Even though practice was, shall I say, rather loosely done, We actually ended up winning the state baseball championship that year!
    The Crazy Horse portion of the trip was for me at least lost in the semi fog – even though I wasn’t a drinker in high school, two of my roommates were, to the point where two of them – who also happened to be the starting pitcher and shortstop for the baseball team, made it their mission to finish an entire case of beer the night before we went to the site. Good times.


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