Almanac: Mount Rushmore

KEYSTONE, UNITED STATES: This June 1995 photo shows Mt. Rushmore, in Keystone, South Dakota. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum started work on Mt. Rushmore 10 Aug 1927 and continued for 14 years, but only 6.5 years were actually spent sculpting due to harsh weather delays. The presidents were selected on the basis of what each symbolized. George Washington (L) represents the struggle for independence; Thomas Jefferson (2nd L), the idea of government by the people; Theodore Roosevelt (2nd R), for the 20th century role of the United States in world affairs; and Abraham Lincoln (R) for his ideas on equality and the permanent union of the states. (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
KAREN BLEIER

(CBS News) And now a page from our "Sunday Morning Almanac": March 3rd, 1925, 88 years ago today -- the day Congress decided four heads were better than none.

For that was the day Congress approved Gutzon Borglum's plan to carve 60-foot-tall images of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt on Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Over the next several years, a daredevil crew of as many as 400 workers dynamited rock and dangled from ropes.

Upon completion, Mount Rushmore became a popular tourist site, attracting some 2 million visitors every year, as well as its share of spoofs and homages.

Mad Magazine once put Alfred E. Newman onto the mountain . . . while Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint fled murderous spies on it in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 thriller, "North by Northwest."

More recently, Mount Rushmore figured in the 2007 film "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" with Nicolas Cage, which imagined Calvin Coolidge as part of an elaborate Black Hills sculpture conspiracy ("Mount Rushmore is a cover-up!").

A 2001 photo shows the face of the Crazy Horse monument, a work in progress located in the Black Hills near Rapid City, S.D. The head is 87 and 1/2 feet tall. FRANCIS TEMMAN/AFP/Getty Images

For the Lakota tribe, whose land this once was, Mount Rushmore was an affront, one that Chief Henry Standing Bear sought to redress by urging Korczak Ziolkowski to carve a far bigger sculpture of Chief Crazy Horse on another Black Hills peak.

Ziolkowski launched his project 65 years ago this June, working virtually single-handedly.

"I believe I can do it. I know I can do it," he said.

Since his death in 1982, his family has carried on his work.

One range of Black Hills . . . two huge mountain sculptures.