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Aug 1, 2020

In this episode  of Grading the Nutmeg, Mary Donohue, Asst. Publisher of Connecticut Explored, reveals Connecticut’s connection to Gutzon Borglum, the  sculptor of Mount Rushmore, and the run up to his most contentious project, the Mount Rushmore National Monument in South Dakota. 

Perhaps the largest outdoor sculpture in the country, Mount Rushmore has been controversial since it was proposed. Where it’s located,  who it commemorates, and its sculptor are all part of the national conversation now. Built on Native American land, it features the faces of four American presidents--two of whom were slaveholders (Washington and Jefferson) and two of whom were involved in efforts to uproot Western Native American tribes (Lincoln and Roosevelt). And the sculptor behind the design, Connecticut resident Gutzon Borglum? He was someone who, according to the New York Times article “How Mount Rushmore became Mount Rushmore” published July 1, 2020, formed great bonds with leaders of the Ku Klux Klan and participated in their meetings to secure funding for the Stone Mountain project in Georgia. Borglum also espoused white supremacist and anti-Semitic ideas.

To read the full article, go to

To read more about his career, go to

This episode was produced by Mary Donohue and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan.

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