Beautiful RARE specimen certificate for Contest by the Albany Times Union, New York from the Mount Rushore Memorial Inscription Competition
. This historic document was printed by the American Bank Note Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette George Washington. Certificate has William Randolf Hearst's printed signature.
National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior
Mount Rushmore National Memorial Keystone, South Dakota
PLANS FOR AN INSCRIPTION
Original plans for the carving of Mount
Rushmore included a large inscription called
the Entablature. The sculptor of Mount
Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum, intended to
carve the Entablature in an area shaped like
the territory of the Louisiana Purchase using
large, three-foot tall letters.
CARVING THE ENTABLATURE
The Entablature was to be a brief history of
the United States, symbolized by Washington,
Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln, carved
beside the four faces. The Entablature would
emphasize that Mount Rushmore was a
national memorial, commemorating the first
150 years of the United States, not just the
lives of the four great men.
The Entablature was begun in 1930, when
the year 1776 was carved into the eastern
side of the mountain. However, in 1934,
due to inconsistencies in the rock, the
Thomas Jefferson figure was relocated from
Washington’s right to Washington’s left. As a
result of the recomposition, the Entablature
location had to be used for the Lincoln figure.
Borglum has also concluded that the words on
the Entablature were going to be too difficult
to read from below. Thus, it was decided that
the inscription of historical events would go
inside the Hall of Records, a room behind
the sculpture, rather than on the front of the
mountain. Gutzon Borglum died in 1941
before plans for the inscription were finalized.
THE ESSAY CONTEST
Initially, Calvin Coolidge was to write the
History of the United States that would
be carved on the Entablature, but he and
Borglum disagreed on how the history should
be worded. Calvin Coolidge died in 1933
before any definite wording was decided.
In 1934, a year after Coolidge's death, Borglum took a different tack with the Entablature text. He went to newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst and asked him to publicize a contest to write the text. Hearst agreed, and agreed to supply cash and scholarships as prizes. All contestants had to use the same nine dates
for their time lines. Thousands of essays were
submitted and a grand prize was awarded
for the best essay overall. The overall winner
was John Edward Bradley. Winners were
also selected and prizes awarded in grammar
school, high school, and college divisions.
THE BURKETT PLAQUE
On July 4, 1971, William Andrew Burkett, the
College Division winner, donated a bronze
plaque of his award-winning essay, written
in 1934 while attending Omaha University
Law School. The plaque now hands on the
Borglum View Terrace at the memorial.
Burkett’s 560-word “History of the United
States of America, 1776-1904” is as follows:
Almighty God, from this pulpit of stone the
American people render thanksgiving and
praise for the new era of civilization brought
forth upon this continent. Centuries of
tyrannical oppression sent to these shores,
God-fearing men to seek in freedom the
guidance of the benevolent hand in the
progress toward wisdom, goodness toward
men, and piety toward God.
1776 Consequently, on July 4, 1776, our
forefathers promulgated a principle
never before successfully asserted,
that life, liberty, equality, and pursuit
of happiness were the birthrights
of all mankind. In this declaration
of independence beat a heart for all
humanity. It declared this country
free from British rule and announced
the inalienable sovereignty of the
people. Freedom’s soldiers victoriously
consecrated this land with their life’s
blood to be free forever more.
1787 Then, in 1787 for the first time a
government was formed that derived
its just powers from the consent of
the governed. General Washington
and representatives from the 13 states
formed this sacred Constitution, which
embodies our faith in God and in
mankind by giving equal participation
in government to all citizens,
distributing the powers of governing,
three fold securing freedoms of speech
and of the press, establishing the right
to worship the Infinite according to
conscience, and assuring this nation’s
general welfare against an embattled
world. This chart of national guidance
has for more than 150 years weathered
the ravages of time. Its supreme trial
came under the pressure of Civil War,
1861-65. The deadly doctrines of
secession and slavery were then purged
away in blood. The seal of the Union’s
finality set by President Lincoln, was
accomplished like all our triumphs of
law and humanity, through the wisdom
and the power of an honest, Christian
Far-sighted American statesmanship
acquired by treaties, vast wilderness
territories, where progressive,
adventurous Americans spread
civilization and Christianity.
1803 In 1803, Louisiana was purchased from
France. This acquisition extended from
the Mississippi River, across the
fertile prairie to the Rocky Mountains,
and paved the way for America’s
preeminence among the nations.
1819 In 1819, the picturesque Florida
peninsula was ceded as payment of
Spanish obligations due to Americans.
1845 In 1845, Texas, having patterned
American democracy during the
ten years of freedom from Mexican
rule, accepted the invitation to join
the sisterhood of states. In 1846,
the Oregon country was peacefully
apportioned by the 49th parallel as the
compromised international boundary
of the two English-speaking nations.
1848 In 1848, California and territory
likewise rich in natural resources was
acquired as the consequence of an
inevitable conflict with Mexico. In
spirit of mutual concession, the United
States granted additional indemnities
for the adjustment of the international
boundary, extending from the Rio
Grande to the Gulf of Mexico.
1850 In 1850, Texas willingly ceded the
disputed Rio Grande region, thus
ending the dramatic acquisition of the
1867 In 1867, Alaska was purchased from
1904 In 1904, the Panama Canal Zone was
acquired from our people to build a
navigable highway enabling the world’s
people to share the fruits of the earth
and human industry.
Now these eras are welded into a nation
possessing unity, liberty, power, integrity and
faith in God, with responsible development of
character and devoted to the performance of
Holding no fear of the economic and political,
chaotic clouds hovering over the earth, the
consecrated Americans dedicate this nation
before God, to exalt righteousness and to
maintain mankind’s constituted liberties so
long as the earth shall endure.
William Andrew Burkett
William Randolph Hearst April 29, 1863 – August 14, 1951) was an American newspaper publisher who built the nation’s largest newspaper chain and whose methods profoundly influenced American journalism. Hearst entered the publishing business in 1887, after taking control of The San Francisco Examiner from his father. Moving to New York City, he acquired The New York Journal and engaged in a bitter circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer's New York World which led to the creation of yellow journalism—sensationalized stories of dubious veracity. Acquiring more newspapers, Hearst created a chain that numbered nearly 30 papers in major American cities at its peak. He later expanded to magazines, creating the largest newspaper and magazine business in the world.
He was twice elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives, and ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of New York City in 1905 and 1909, for Governor of New York in 1906, and for Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1910. Nonetheless, through his newspapers and magazines, he exercised enormous political influence, and is sometimes credited with pushing public opinion in the United States into a war with Spain in 1898.
His life story was a source of inspiration for the development of the lead character in Orson Welles' film Citizen Kane. His mansion, Hearst Castle, near San Simeon, California, on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, was donated by the Hearst Corporation to the state of California in 1957, and is now a State Historical Monument and a National Historic Landmark, open for public tours. Hearst formally named the estate La Cuesta Encantada ("The Enchanted Slope"), but he usually just called it "the ranch".
History from OldCompany.com
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