U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) recently introduced a joint resolution to formally request that U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt authorize an audio and video display at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial near Rapid City, South Dakota, to honor and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed and protected women’s constitutional right to vote nationwide. The event will be similar to the popular 50th anniversary commemoration of the Apollo 11 mission, during which images were projected onto the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
“I can think of no better location to honor the strong women who helped build America than Mount Rushmore, a symbol of our democracy and a shrine to all Americans, past and present, who contribute to our nation’s success,” said Thune. “Generations of American women have made some of the most significant contributions to our country and our world. From elected leaders to inventors to astronauts and everything in between, America is a stronger and better place thanks to their investment in our future. While the right to vote is often taken for granted, I look forward to this special opportunity to both remember one of the biggest milestones in our country’s history and hopefully inspire the next generation of American heroes to continue this legacy.”
“The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission is honored to support the ‘Look Up to Her’ project at Mount Rushmore National Memorial,” said Susan Combs, chair of the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission. “The WSCC is committed to telling the stories of the suffrage movement in ways that make women’s history visible and accessible to all Americans, and we are grateful to Senator Thune for his support of what will be a breathtaking tribute to the legacy of the suffragists.”
“The centennial passage of the 19th Amendment, to guarantee and protect women’s constitutional right to vote, deserves to have attention and recognition by the entire nation,” said Diana Nielsen Saathoff , CEO of the Mount Rushmore Society. “We can think of no higher honor than to commemorate this historic milestone at Mount Rushmore National Memorial through the ‘Look Up To Her’ project. The Mount Rushmore Society, the official philanthropic partner that has been supporting the Memorial for 90 years, is proud to support this thoughtful and thought provoking presentation. We Vote Yes!!!”
This one-time installation, entitled “Look Up to Her,” will celebrate American women by displaying images of iconic suffragists and trailblazers projected onto the surface of the memorial to the left and right of the sculpture. No images will be displayed on the sculpture itself. The display will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and will include historical artifacts, digital content, film footage, and associated historical audio and imagery. Specific dates for the event will be announced after the project has been officially authorized.