Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Thoughts on Independence Day 2012

Signers of the Declaration of Independence

The first, largest, and most famous signature is that of John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress.

The youngest signer was Edward Rutledge (age 26). Benjamin Franklin (age 70) was the oldest. Two future presidents signed: John Adams (second President) and Thomas Jefferson (third President).

Mount Rushmore National Memorial South Dakota

Not all of our trips are cruises.  There is plenty to see in this great country, especially if you are willing to spend some time in a car or other motor vehicle.

We headed out west towards Montana, and stopped overnight in South Dakota so that we'd be able to visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the morning. As you can see from the pictures below, we couldn't have asked for a better day - the blue skies offset the monument beautifully.

The day before, the people weren't as fortunate as the mountain was socked in by fog and rain for most of the day.   This was Memorial Day weekend, and there were some veterans on hand raising funds for their fellow comrades.

The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, in the United States. Sculpted by Danish-American Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum, Mount Rushmore features 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of former United States presidents (in order from left to right) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

The entire memorial covers 1,278.45 acres (5.17 km2) and is 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level.  The tallest mountain in the region is Harney Peak (7,242 feet or 2,207 metres).

The entrance to the National Memorial is lined by the 50 state flags.  The inscription on the base lists the state name along with the order and year that it became a state.

Take some time to explore this great country.   We'd be happy to help you plan a road trip or, if you don't want to drive yourself, there are tour companies that will do the driving for you.   What amazes us is that the early settlers didn't have GPS or maps, but yet they headed west to forge a new nation and we owe it to them to tour the country.  Bring history alive for your school-aged children.

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