Faces on Mount Rushmore

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Faces on Mount Rushmore

1 Read the conversation and answer the question: What place were the friends looking for?

Emily:    It's amazing. Wherever we go we see pictures of four presidents: George Washington,
                Thomas Jefferson,  Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
Misha:   Yes, now it's clear what Robin meant in his letter.
Rob:         It's so simple. Why didn't we think of it before?
Mark:       Let's not get too excited. We still haven't found anything and the
                  meeting place of the presidents is just one of the clues. So let's go on one of
                  the excursions to Mount Rushmore and try to find out more.


America in focus     
Foot is a unit of length.
1 foot = 0.3048 m

Listen to the words and expressions and repeat them after the speaker.

South Dakota — Южная Дакота
to commemorate — ознаменовывать
human spirit — человеческий дух
determination — решимость
a height — высота
to carve — высекать
Mount Rushmore — гора Рашмор
a skyline — очертания (на фоне неба)
dynamite — динамит

a layer — слой
to blast — взрывать
to dedicate — зд. открывать в торжественной обстановке
growth — рост
a trust — концерн
a conservationist — активный борец за охрану природы
natural resources — природные богатства
3  Listen to the story and answer the questions.

Faces on Mount Rushmore

The guide: In South Dakota we have a joke: What has 60-foot high faces, eyes 11 feet across, noses 20 feet long, mouths that stretch 18 feet wide, and is visited by two and a half million people a year? Today you'll find out. You're going to see a monument that celebrates the memory of some great people in American history, our most respected presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. But this monument doesn't only commemorate some great people in our history, it is also a monument to the human spirit, determination and hard work, which proves that even the impossible can become possible. "So what's so special about this monument?" you might ask. "What makes people from different parts of America and the world come to this place to see it?" If you've already looked through the fliers or seen the monument on advertising posters, you'll know the answer. The faces of the presidents are carved into a huge granite mountain called Mount Rushmore. Actually, it's probably the largest sculpture in the world and the fact that it was started and completed at a time when people didn't have the kind of powerful tools we have today makes it even more exciting.

It all started in 1923 with Doane Robinson, a South Dakota state historian. His idea was to carve the faces of famous people from the Old West in the mountain. He thought it would attract a lot of tourists, who would come and spend money in the area. Now we know that he was right.

The idea got a lot of support, and government funding was given. Then the sculptor Gutzon Borglum began to search for a suitable place. When he finally found Mount Rushmore, he knew that it was just what he needed. It


was also the highest peak in the area and faced southeast, which meant that it would be well lit for most of the day. Borglum pointed at the mountain and said, "America will march along that skyline." It was the beginning of years of hard work.

On October 4,1927 the carving began. They used dynamite to take rock from the mountain until there was only a thin layer of granite left. The rest of it was removed by hand, keeping teams of workers busy until the presidents' faces were absolutely smooth. If the workers made a mistake, they had to blast huge pieces of rock away and start the face all over again.

Finally, on July 4,1934, Washington's face was dedicated. This great event attracted a lot of visitors. Before the face was shown to the public, it was covered by a huge flag measuring 39 by 70 foot, which greatly impressed the audience. Two years later Thomas Jefferson's head was dedicated, and a year after that Abraham Lincoln's face was dedicated on September 17, 1937, which was the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. The work was completed in 1941 with the face of another great president, Theodore Roosevelt.

"Why was he chosen among the greatest presidents of the US?" you may ask. In my opinion he deserved it. Theodore Roosevelt did a lot of good for his country. The interests of working people were close to his heart, and he's remembered for his fight against financial monopolies and trusts to help economic growth. But most importantly, he was a conservationist, which means that he placed our unique natural resources under government protection to preserve them for the future. All in all, he set up five national parks, eighteen national monuments, and helped preserve millions of acres of national forest in America.

Now I have some time left to answer your questions if you have any...
4 Why were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt chosen from among America's greatest presidents?


А  Answer the questions.

1.    What monument were the friends going to see?
2.    What is special about the size of the monument?
3.    What is the exact height of the monument?
4.    What's the monument made of?
5.    When was it started and when was it finished?
6.    Does the monument commemorate only great people in American history?

К. И. Кауфман, М. Ю. Кауфман Английский язык: Счастливый английский.ру / Happy Учебник англ. яз. для 9 кл. общеобраз. учрежд.— Обнинск: Титул, 2008.— 288 с: ил.

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