The real story behind Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty and other American icons

July 11, 2018
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The faces of the presidents that make up the Mount Rushmore monument are shown near Keystone, S.D. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Did you know that the original symbolism of the Statue of Liberty had nothing to do with welcoming immigrants? And that Mount Rushmore was built as a way to get tourists to drive all the way to South Dakota?

You’ll hear the inside story on these and other American icons from Geoffrey Baer, host of the PBS series “10 That Changed America,” in this week’s AP Travel podcast “Get Outta Here!”

Baer is back this summer with three new segments of his popular show, including one about monuments and memorials that changed America. Baer reveals little-known facts and origin stories as he chats with the podcast host, AP Travel editor Beth Harpaz, about these places and how their symbolism sometimes changes over time.


New episodes of “Get Outta Here!” are published every Wednesday. Host Beth J. Harpaz is travel editor for The Associated Press, a volunteer Big Apple Greeter and a licensed tour guide in her native New York City. She recently completed a quest to visit all 50 states.

Before becoming travel editor, where most of the news - thank goodness - is about happy people going on nice vacations, Beth covered politics, disasters and all manner of mayhem for the AP. And not to reveal her age, but she also worked for several newspapers way back in the 20th century and even wrote three books.

She does not own wheeled luggage but instead carries her belongings around the world in an ancient backpack and various tote bags.


For more trip ideas, travel trends and destination news from Beth and the rest of The Associated Press, follow @AP_Travel on Twitter and check out the travel tab on the APNews mobile app.

For a full list of podcasts, go to the AP podcast page on APNews.com or subscribe on iTunes at https://apple.co/2s2ruHY or Stitcher at https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/associated-press/get-outta-here-the-ap-travel-podcast

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