Korczak Day

Crazy Horse Memorial will celebrate Korczak Day on May 3, 2015. In 1983, the South Dakota Legislature honored the sculptor of the world-famous Crazy Horse Mountain carving with a proclamation officially calling attention to Korczak’s dedication to honor the Indians of North America. Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation will celebrate Korczak Day on May 3rd and his life's work, now carried on by the Ziolkowski family and the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation Board of Directors and staff.

1939PaderewskiBustKorczak Ziolkowski, was an accomplished sculptor and member of the National Sculpture Society before becoming famous as a mountain carver. In 1939 after working briefly on Mount Rushmore with Gutzon Borglum, Korczak won first prize in the New York World's Fair for his Carrara marble portrait, "Paderewski, Study of an Immortal". The story of Korczak's win was published in major newspapers including the Rapid City Journal in western South Dakota and caught the attention of Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear, who wrote Korczak asking for his assistance in building a monument to Native Americans. After years of correspondence and meetings, Korczak accepted Standing Bear's invitation and the foundation for Crazy Horse Memorial began.

Korczak Day marks the anniversary (May 3, 1947) of Korczak moving to the Black Hills to start what would become Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation. That May 3rd day in 1947 must have revealed a completely different picture as Korczak pulled up with his faithful old truck and looked toward the mountain that he and Standing Bear had chosen for the carving. After building the first road, cutting the trees for the log cabin home, drilling the first well…he went on a year later to set off the first blast and dedicate the memorial on June 3rd 1948. This May 3rd we remember the man who famously said…”when the dreams end…there is no more greatness.” The Crazy Horse Dream lives on, inspiring millions to…”never forget their dreams.”

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  • “No one is ever wrong who desires to do that which is not required of them to do — and that which is of a noble purpose. The purpose of Crazy Horse is noble.”
    Korczak Ziolkowski / Sculptor
  • “My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know that the red man has great heroes also.”
    Chief Henry Standing Bear
  • “When the legends die, the dreams end. When the dreams end, there is no more greatness.”
    Korczak Ziolkowski / Sculptor
  • “The Important thing is that we never stop. That’s the main thing. And if you looked at it as strictly a view of being finished, you could get awfully distracted waiting for that day to come. This way, you’re pleased with every little step of progress that you make.”
    Ruth Ziolkowski / Sculptor's Wife
  • “One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.”
    Crazy Horse
  • “By carving Crazy Horse, if I can give back to the Indian some of his pride and create a means to keep alive his culture and heritage, my life will have been worthwile.”
    Korczak Ziolkowski / Sculptor
  • “He left everything so we can carry on his work, and that’s just what we’re going to do. We’re dedicated to that. His whole life would be wasted if the mountain carving and the humanitarian goals are not completed.”
    Ruth Ziolkowski / Sculptor's Wife
  • “My lands are where my dead lie buried.”
    Crazy Horse
  • “If it weren’t for each and every one you, whether your gift was small or large monetarily, whether it was friendship and encouragement, without you we wouldn’t be here…”
    Ruth Ziolkowski / Sculptor's Wife
  • “Standing Bear explained that the Indian has a concept of honoring their great heroes that’s totally different from the white man’s. It was difficult for me to understand at first…The Indian uses the direct approach. He says: that man was my ancestor, and he was a great man, so we should honor him-I would not lie or cheat because I am his blood”
    Korczak Ziolkowski / Sculptor

Crazy Horse Memorial
12151 Avenue of the Chiefs
Crazy Horse, SD 57730-8900

(605) 673-4681

Email: memorial@crazyhorse.org

Upcoming Events

  • Memorial Weekend
    May 25-28

    Memorial Weekend <br />May 26-29,<br /> 2017
    Native American’s across this great nation have served and sacrificed in the United States Military, join us to honor all fallen heroes who fought and protected our freedom. American Indian artists will be featured throughout the Welcome Center. Admission to the Memorial will be waived with 3 cans of food per person.
  • Legends in Light
    May 25-Sep 30

    Legends in Light<br /> May 26-Oct 1<br />
    This spectacular light show tells the story of the Memorial in laser lights projected onto the Mountain. You will be treated to the story of Chief Henry Standing Bear’s invitation to Korczak, Ruth’s contributions and special features of many Native American heroes. This must see show is featured nightly at dark, for sun down times click here: http://www.calendar-updates.com/sun.asp
  • Native Americans’Day
    Oct 8

    Native Americans’ Day  Oct 10, 2016
    Governor George S. Mickelson and the SD legislature declared 1990 as the “Year of Reconciliation”, the day formerly known as Columbus Day became Native American Day. Native American Day at Crazy Horse Memorial is celebrated by planned activities for kids, program and performers, Educator of the Year is awarded and (weather permitting) a mountain blast. Admission is waved to the Memorial with 3 cans of food per person.