Washington's face beginning to emerge on Mount Rushmore. George Washington's head was started first. Due to the economic instability of the United States caused by the Great Depression, it was completed in seven years, and dedicated to the public on Independence Day 1934. A large American flag was placed over Washington's head before it was revealed, and this became a tradition for each of the Presidents' heads. Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota. Sculpted by Danish-American Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum, Mount Rushmore features 60 foot sculptures of the heads of four United States presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Construction on the memorial began in 1927, and the presidents' faces were completed between 1934 and 1939. 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 has become an iconic symbol of the United States, and attracts over three million visitors annually. NPS, no photographer credited, 1930s.