We all know about Mt. Rushmore and the US presidents featured there, but few of us know about the epic struggle to build a similar monument to Crazy Horse.
History In the Hills
Crazy Horse is revered as a great warrior among the Lakota Sioux. In 1876, he defeated the US Army in a two-day fight that is now known as Custer’s Last Stand. It was one of the greatest victories among Native Americans at the time.
How Crazy Horse Memorial Began
The great Native American leader Chief Henry Standing Bear, a Lakota Sioux and cousin of Crazy Horse, watched the building of Mt. Rushmore and decided to create a similar memorial to his great relative.
He contacted Korczak Ziolkowski, a well-known sculptor who had worked on Mount Rushmore.
Ziolkowski began working on the memorial in 1948. He quickly became obsessed with his mission to create the memorial.
He was still working on it in his late 60s when 60 Minutes did a news report about his efforts.
“It’s a big mountain,” says Monique Ziolkowski, Korczak’s daughter. Monique has kept the dream alive by continuing to oversee teams that blast, carve and sculpt the mountain.
The Dream Is Alive
Today, three of his children and four grandchildren are still working on the project. They use admission fees and donations to fund the multimillion-dollar project.
Monique says her father would be proud of their efforts.
“By carving Crazy Horse, if I can give back to the Indian some of his pride and create a means to keep alive his culture and heritage,” he said once, “my life will have been worthwhile.”
Crazy Horse Memorial is located 9 miles south of Hill City, South Dakota, which is 17 miles southwest of Mount Rushmore National Memorial. It is open year-round.
- Here’s The Proposed Route For The 3,700-Mile Continuous Bike Trail Across The United States
- ‘Jungle Bubbles’ Let You Sleep Under The Stars With Rescue Elephants
- Meet The Quokka – ‘The World’s Happiest Animal’
- Cities Are Building Elder Playgrounds For Boomers To Exercise And Play
- Girl Trips Are Good For Mental Health And Longevity, Research Says