HEARD the one about the President that wanted to be up a mountain? Donald Trump is desperate to reassure people that at no time did he suggest that he should be the fifth face to feature on the USA’s world-famous monument, Mount Rushmore
No, The Donald definitely did not ask the South Dakota Republican state governor Kristi Noem if she could get him up there alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt on what is technically known as the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
Donald is a masculine given name derived from the Gaelic name Dòmhnall. This comes from the Proto-Celtic Dumno-ualos (“world-ruler” or “world-wielder”). Domhnall, an Irish King of Aileach and descendant of Niall Noígíallach, was the origin of the modern surname Donnelly. The final -d in Donald is partly derived from a misinterpretation of the Gaelic pronunciation by English speakers, and partly associated with the spelling of similar-sounding Germanic names, such as Ronald. A short form of Donald is Don. Pet forms of Donald include Donnie and Donny. The feminine given name Donella is derived from Donald.Donald has cognates in other Celtic languages: Modern Irish Dónal (anglicised as Donal and Donall); Scottish Gaelic Dòmhnall, Domhnull and Dòmhnull; Welsh Dyfnwal and Cumbric Dumnagual. Although the feminine given name Donna is sometimes used as a feminine form of Donald, the names are not etymologically related.
Why Donald Trump's face won't be on Mount Rushmore
It was reported by the New York Times over the weekend, however, that a White House aide had been in touch with South Dakota officials about the suggestion of new faces for Rushmore.
And while he denied it was anything to do with him, Trump did put out this Tweet: “This is Fake News by the failing @nytimes bad ratings @CNN. Never suggested it although, based on all of the many things accomplished during the first 3 1/2 years, perhaps more than any other presidency, sounds like a good idea to me!”
Why Donald Trump's face won't be on Mount Rushmore
The problem for Trump is that the New York Times and CNN dug up an interview with governor Noem originally carried by the Sioux Falls Argus Leader in 2018 when she was running for election. The Argus Leader reported: “Noem said the two struck up a conversation in their first meeting at the Oval Office.
“He said, ‘Kristi, come on over here. Shake my hand,’” Noem said. “I shook his hand, and I said,
‘Mr President, you should come to South Dakota sometime. We have Mount Rushmore’. And he goes, ‘Do you know it’s my dream to have my face on Mount Rushmore?’”
Noem thought he was joking.
“I started laughing,” she said. “He wasn’t laughing, so he was totally serious.”
WHAT IS MOUNT RUSHMORE ALL ABOUT?
THE whole idea from the start was to build a tourist attraction that would bring people to a lovely but rather out-of-the-way piece of South Dakota. The mountain is part of the Black Hills, sacred to the Lakota Sioux people, and is known to them as Cougar or Six Grandfathers Mountain. The US Government stole the Black Hills – once ceded in perpetuity to the Sioux – after gold was found there.
The Lakota Sioux were moved to five small reservations while the federal authorities began selling off their land for a reputed $9 million.
The various Native American tribespeople around the area have never given up their claim to be the legal owners of the Black Hills,
even though there is said to be in excess of $1.2bn sitting in the bank to pay them.
In the 1920s, local historian Doane Robinson came up with the idea of giant sculptures at The Needles – soaring granite pillars – area of the Black Hills.
However, the sculptor chosen for the job, Gutzon Borglum, rejected The Needles and plumped instead for the face of Cougar-Six Grandfathers. Businessman Charles Rushmore came up with the seed money and the mountain was officially renamed after him.
Robinson had wanted the faces of heroes of the American West such as explorers Lewis and Clark, great Native American chiefs such as Crazy Horse and Red Cloud and even Buffalo Bill, but Borglum dissented.
After discussions with the local Sioux representatives, it was decided to carve the faces of four great presidents. The faces alone would be 60ft (18m) tall.
The carving took place over 14 years from 1927 and the faces were finished between 1934 and 1939. There were supposed to be torsos below the faces but the project ran out of money in 1941, the year Borglum died.
The Memorial was soon a huge hit with tourists, receiving a massive boost to its popularity when it featured in the climactic scenes of the Alfred Hitchcock movie North by North West in 1959 – it was not widely publicised that the chase scene was filmed on a mock-up rather than the real thing.
WHO ARE THE FOUR FACES?
IN chronological order they start with George Washington (1732-99), the first president of the USA and the general who led the Patriot forces to victory over the British.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was the principal author of the US Declaration of Independence and became the nation’s third president in the year of 1801.
Abraham Lincoln (1809-65) is renowned as the 16th president who abolished slavery and won the Civil War only to be assassinated by a Confederate supporter. Lincoln is revered as the greatest president of them all, but face number four, Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was just as popular in his time, with his nickname Teddy applied to toy bears everywhere.
He was a true war hero, leading the Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War, and was a champion of the environment.
He remains the only person ever awarded both the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Medal of Honour.
WILL TRUMP REALLY END UP ALONGSIDE SUCH GIANTS?
ON July 4, Trump went to Mount Rushmore and paid tribute to the four faces.
Washington led the United States into existence, Jefferson was a noted intellectual, Lincoln fought to stop black people being used as slaves, and Roosevelt was an all-action type who volunteered to lead US troops in the First World War at the age of 57.
Trump is dividing his country by the day, barely reads a book, thinks Black Lives Matter is a symbol of hate and dodged military service with “bone spurs”.
The only way he’ll get his face on Mount Rushmore is if Democrat nominee Joe Biden offers him the “fifth face” on the condition that Trump resigns before the election later this year.