Known to the Lakota Sioux as Six Grandfathers, the mountain was renamed after Charles E. Rushmore, a prominent New York lawyer, during an expedition in 1885.
The entire memorial covers 1,278 acres (5.17 kmē) and is managed by the National Park Service.
The memorial attracts approximately 2 million people annually.
The United States Government seized the area from the Lakota tribe after the Black Hills War in 1876. This is one reason why the carvings at Mount Rushmore are controversial. Land ownership, respect for the land, spiritualism and other factors important to American Indians play a large part in the controversy.
Mount Rushmore is largely composed of granite. Fractures in the granite were sealed by pegmatite dikes. The light-colored streaks in the presidents' foreheads are due to these dikes.
Mount Rushmore is located within the United States Presidential Memorial.
Each head is about 60 feet (18 m) high.