July 20, 2014

1155, 1156 UNITED STATES (South Dakota) - Presidents and Founding Fathers

The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore (Lakota Sioux name: Six Grandfathers) near Keystone. Sculpted by Danish-American Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum, it features 18 m sculptures of the heads of four United States presidents: George Washington (1732–1799), Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), and Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865). Historian Doane Robinson is credited with conceiving the idea of this sculpture, in order to promote tourism in the region. Construction on the memorial began in 1927, and the presidents' faces were completed between 1934 and 1939. Upon Gutzon Borglum's death in March 1941, his son Lincoln Borglum took over construction. Although the initial concept called for each president to be depicted from head to waist, lack of funding forced construction to end in late October 1941.

Mount Rushmore is controversial among Native Americans because the United States seized the area from the Lakota tribe after the Great Sioux War of 1876. Members of the American Indian Movement led an occupation of the monument in 1971, naming it Mount Crazy Horse. In 2004, the first Native American superintendent of the park was appointed. Gerard Baker has stated that he will open up more "avenues of interpretation", and that the four presidents are "only one avenue and only one focus." The Crazy Horse Memorial is being constructed elsewhere in the Black Hills to commemorate the famous Native American leader and as a response to Mount Rushmore. It is intended to be larger than Mount Rushmore and has the support of Lakota chiefs; the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation has rejected offers of federal funds.

The phrase "Founding Fathers," applied to "an American statesman of the Revolutionary period, esp. a member of the American Constitutional Convention of 1787", has been in use since at least 1894. A more generalized use of "founding fathers" has been in place since at least 1886. The second postcard illustrates the idea that the original Founding Fathers are actually Native Americans, too often forgotten in their contributions to the United States. Images include Chief Joseph, Sitting Bull, Geronimo, and Chief Red Cloud.
• Chief Joseph (1840-1904) was the leader of the Wal-lam-wat-kain (Wallowa) band of Nez Perce, known for his resistance to the U.S. Government's attempts to force his tribe onto reservations. The skill with which he fought against U.S. Army (Nez Perce War) and the manner in which they conducted themselves in the face of incredible adversity led to admiration among their military adversaries.
• Geronimo (1829-1909) was a prominent leader of the Bedonkohe Apache who fought against Mexico and Texas for their expansion into Apache tribal lands for several decades during the Apache Wars.
• Sitting Bull (1831-1890) was a Hunkpapa Lakota holy man who led his people during years of resistance to U.S. government policies. He was killed by Indian agency police during an attempt to arrest him at a time when authorities feared that he would join the Ghost Dance movement.
• Red Cloud (1822-1909) was a strong chief of the Oglala Lakota. One of the most capable Native American opponents the U.S. Army faced, he led a successful campaign in 1866-1868 known as Red Cloud's War.

About the stamps
About the first stamp on the first postcard, featuring a portrait of George Washington, I wrote here. The first stamp on the second postcard, depicting a Navajo Necklace (2c / 2006), is part of the definitives series American Design (2002-2007), about which I wrote here. About the third stamp on the second postcard, depicting the president Abraham Lincoln, I wrote here.

Four among the stamps are part of the series Vintage Circus Posters, issued on May 5, 2014:
• Barnum and Bailey - It's on the postcard 1156
• Sells-Floto Circus - It's on the postcard 1155
• Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey - It's on the postcard 1155
• Al G. Barnes Circus - It's on the postcard 1659
• Ringling Brothers - It's on the postcard 2695
• Barnum and Bailey - It's on the postcard 2247
• Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey - It's on the postcard 2695
• Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus - It's on the postcard 1155

Mount Rushmore - Wikipedia

sender 1, 2: Denise 
1: sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 23.06.2014
photo: Pat O'Hara
2: sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 16.06.2014

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