The four prominent U.S. Presidents carved into Mount Rushmore were chosen by sculptor Gutzon Borglum to represent major milestones and ideals in American history. George Washington, the first President, was chosen as a symbol of the birth of the nation; Thomas Jefferson represents the expansion of the country through the Louisiana Purchase; Abraham Lincoln was picked for his role in preserving the union; and Theodore Roosevelt symbolizes the nation’s industrial growth. While all of these famous figures are known for their pivotal roles in the country’s history, there’s much more to each of their stories. Here are six interesting facts about the Mount Rushmore Presidents.
George Washington Only Had a Grade School Education
America’s first President may be one of the most notable figures in the country’s history, but his legacy all started with a modest education. George Washington was born into a Virginia plantation family in 1732, and his formal schooling was limited to his preteen years. When Washington was just 11 years old, his father died, and plans for the future President to follow in his family’s footsteps and attend Appleby Grammar School in England were halted. Washington instead received private tutoring for his further, albeit limited, education, and he continued to pursue self-education throughout his life. He read books on military strategy and history, which later informed his approach to his military career, in turn laying the groundwork for his path to the presidency. He studied geometry and trigonometry on his own, both of which came in handy for his stint as a land surveyor as a teen. But even with all of his successes, Washington carried embarrassment about his lack of formal education throughout his life, often comparing himself to his peers.