Gutzon Borglum, named after his father's sneeze, designed Mt. Rushmore, and it's no secret that he blasted it out of sacred Native land. But this decision resulted less from a "Well, we need land" reasoning, and more from a "We must purify the land of the unclean races"-type mentality.
See, Borglum's first claim to fame was the Confederate Memorial at Stone Mountain, Georgia -- a gigantic monument funded by the Ku Klux Klan.
Borglum was not merely sympathetic to the KKK's ideology and goals; he was damn near a member himself. While he never wore a white pillowcase on his head, he attended rallies, served on committees, and became so important to the organization that he would adjudicate disagreements between top leaders. He was good buds with D.C. Stephenson, a grand dragon. Stephenson was wealthy, and not only funded the sculpture of Confederate leaders on Stone Mountain, but also lent money to Borglum directly. The only thing that caused their relationship to sour a bit was when Stephenson was imprisoned for raping and murdering a woman.
Even after leaving the Stone Mountain project, Borglum didn't give up trying to glorify the Confederacy. During the initial years of Mt. Rushmore's construction in 1924, he worked on a new design for a coin that included Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson on horseback. The U.S. Mint rejected the design, because the only traitors we allow on currency are the ones who betrayed the British.
Read more at: