Crazy Horse Memorial, South Dakota

Posted by Chris Raymond
on Sunday, August 29, 2010
Astronomy magazine's managing editor, Chris Raymond, can't help but note the ironic headline on Meade's back-cover ad — "Big Bang Blowout" — while visiting the Crazy Horse Memorial August 23, 2010, in South Dakota. During the dedication ceremony on June 3, 1948, the first load of dynamite blew away tons of pegmatite granite from the mountainside, beginning the process of revealing sculptor Korczak Ziokowski's vision, which Lakota chiefs first asked him to create in 1939.

While Ziolkowski died in 1982, his wife, Ruth, and seven of their 10 children continue to carve the memorial. The head of Crazy Horse was completed and dedicated exactly 50 years after the first "big bang" of dynamite, and work now focuses on sculpting the horse's head, outlined in white paint on the mountain. When completed, the Crazy Horse Memorial will stand as the largest sculpture in history, measuring 563 feet high and 641 feet long. For perspective, the head is more than 87 feet high and 58 feet wide, and all four presidential busts on Mount Rushmore could fit inside the head of Crazy Horse with room to spare.
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