President Donald Trump announced Friday he will establish a National Garden of American Heroes which will include statues of the 'giants of out pas
President Donald Trump announced Friday he will establish a National Garden of American Heroes which will include statues of the ‘giants of out past’ and the ‘greatest Americans who ever lived’.
Trump described the new monument as ‘a vast outdoor park’ that will include statues of the likes of former conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, President Ronald Reagan and civil rights activists Martin Luther King Jr. and Harriet Tubman.
The reveal came as protesters around the United States are calling for statues of certain historical American figures to be toppled in light of the recent demonstrations over racial injustice.
The Executive Order marking the new garden took a direct hit at these statue removals claiming that protesters wish to ‘desecrate our common inheritance’ and vowing to ‘stand strong against this violence’.
President Trump made the announcement as he opened the Fourth of July weekend with a fiery speech and fireworks at the iconic Mount Rushmore, pictured above
Former conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (pictured right) and President Ronald Reagan (pictured left) are among the names included in the initial lists
A statue of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. will be included if the memorial is built
Trump made the announcement as he opened the Fourth of July weekend with a fiery speech and fireworks at the iconic Mount Rushmore.
The famed landmark itself has come under fire, especially from Native Americans who say it was built on stolen land.
Around 100 protesters gathered on the road into Keystone ahead of the president’s speech.
WHO WILL BE INCLUDED IN PRESIDENT TRUMP’S ‘NATIONAL GARDEN OF AMERICAN HEROES?’
President Trump’s new executive order calls for the park to include statues of the following Americans:
- John Adams, second US president
- Susan B. Anthony, leader of the women’s suffrage movement
- Clara Barton, nurse and founder of the American Red Cross
- Daniel Boone, American pioneer
- Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Civil War Union colonel
- Henry Clay, US Secretary of State under John Adams
- Davy Crockett, US frontiersman
- Frederick Douglass, abolitionist leader during Civil War
- Amelia Earhart, first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean
- Benjamin Franklin, US Founding Father and inventor
- Billy Graham, evangelist
- Alexander Hamilton, US Founding Father
- Thomas Jefferson, US Founding Father and third president
- Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader and minister
- Abraham Lincoln, 16th US president
- Douglas MacArthur, WWII Army general
- Dolley Madison, US first lady and wife of James Madison
- James Madison, fourth US president and Founding Father
- Christa McAuliffe, astronaut
- Audie Murphy, WWII hero
- George S. Patton, Jr., WWI Army general
- Ronald Reagan, 40th US president
- Jackie Robinson, first African American MLB player
- Betsy Ross, designer of first American flag
- Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Justice
- Harriet Beecher Stowe, abolitionist and author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin
- Harriet Tubman, abolitionist and leader of Underground Railroad
- Booker T. Washington, prominent African American educator and leader during Jim Crow era
- George Washington, first US president
- Orville and Wilbur Wright, inventors of world’s first motor-powered airplane
Trump led into the garden announcement by paying tribute to a litany of American icons, from political figures like Ulysses S. Grant and Frederick Douglass to entertainers like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.
‘We will raise the next generation of American patriots,’ Trump said at Mount Rushmore.
‘We will write the next thrilling chapter of the American adventure. And we will teach our children to know that they live in a land of legends, that nothing can stop them, and that no one can hold them down.’
According to an Executive Order issued by the White House Friday, the garden should be completed and open for public access before the 250th anniversary of the proclamation of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 2026.
The site it will be built on has yet to be revealed but will be ‘a site of natural beauty that enables visitors to enjoy nature, walk among the statues, and be inspired to learn about great figures of America’s history’.
It will feature statues of several presidents as well as other historic notables, including Davy Crockett, Amelia Earhart, Billy Graham and Orville and Wilbur Wright.
The wording of the Executive Order took a direct hit at the removal of Confederate statues in recent weeks following protests sparked by the death on May 25 of black man George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.
It praised the importance of keeping the country’s monuments and lashed out at those ‘inflamed by fashionable political passions’ who wish to take them down.
‘America owes its present greatness to its past sacrifices,’ the order reads.
‘Because the past is always at risk of being forgotten, monuments will always be needed to honor those who came before. Since the time of our founding, Americans have raised monuments to our greatest citizens.
‘These statues are silent teachers in solid form of stone and metal. They preserve the memory of our American story and stir in us a spirit of responsibility for the chapters yet unwritten.
‘To destroy a monument is to desecrate our common inheritance. In recent weeks, in the midst of protests across America, many monuments have been vandalized or destroyed,’ it added.
‘These statues are not ours alone, to be discarded at the whim of those inflamed by fashionable political passions; they belong to generations that have come before us and to generations yet unborn.’
In the order, Trump vowed that ‘my Administration will not abide an assault on our collective national memory’.
‘In the face of such acts of destruction, it is our responsibility as Americans to stand strong against this violence, and to peacefully transmit our great national story to future generations through newly commissioned monuments to American heroes.’
American abolitionist and political activist Harriet Tubman was also named in the list of heroes
The order states that those chosen ‘contributed positively to America throughout our history’ such as baseball player Jackie Robinson (left) and abolitionist Frederick Douglass (right)
Frontiersman Davy Crockett was named in Trump’s initial list of American heroes
The order states that those chosen ‘contributed positively to America throughout our history’ and included everyone from the Founding Fathers to those who fought for the abolition of slavery or participated in the underground railroad.
Those included, and not included, may cause controversy, however.
Elected officials and institutions are reckoning with whether it is appropriate to continue to honor people, including past presidents, who benefited from slavery or espoused racist views, with monuments or buildings and streets named after them.
Names that may court controversy include Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016, a conservative Supreme Court judge. There is no liberal counterpart named on the list.
Republican president Ronald Reagan is also the only modern-day president on the list, excluding Democrats John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
The inclusion of Founding Fathers such as George Washington may be controversial
There have already been calls to remove the Lincoln Emancipation Memorial in D.C.
The inclusion of The Founding Fathers, in particular, will be unwelcome to some as calls are already mounting to have their likeness taken down in monuments across the country.
Protesters in Washington D.C. have already targeted the Emancipation Memorial which features Lincoln standing with a former enslaved person kneeling at his feet. The statue was funded by former slave but they had no say in its controversial design.
Absent from Trump’s initial list are any Native American or Hispanic individuals.
The order includes language to make clear that non-U.S. citizens who played significant roles in American history also could be honored in the garden.
As examples of individuals who made substantive contributions to America´s public life or otherwise had a substantive effect on America’s history, it cites: Italian explorer Christopher Columbus; Junipero Serra, a Roman Catholic priest who established Spanish missions in California; and the Marquis de La Fayette, a French officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War.
A statue of Columbus, who has been criticized for brutal treatment of Native Americans, was removed this past week from outside the city hall in Columbus, Ohio.
Trump announced the garden during a speech followed by fireworks at Mount Rushmore
It comes as elected officials and institutions are reckoning with whether it is appropriate to continue to honor people, including past presidents, who benefited from slavery or espoused racist views, with monuments or buildings and streets named after them. Pictured is a toppled George Washington statue in Oregon torn town by protesters on June 19
Last month, protesters also toppled a statue of Serra in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Some historians say that Serra, who was canonized by the Catholic Church, had a mixed history that included him acting as an agent of the Spanish Empire´s colonization efforts in the 18th Century.
The monument is far from a done deal and Trump’s plan could be dashed if presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden denies him a second term in November.
The full list of those whose statues will be included are John Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Daniel Boone, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Henry Clay, Davy Crockett, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Benjamin Franklin, Billy Graham, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Douglas MacArthur, Dolley Madison, James Madison, Christa McAuliffe, Audie Murphy, George S. Patton, Jr., Ronald Reagan, Jackie Robinson, Betsy Ross, Antonin Scalia, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, George Washington, and Orville and Wilbur Wright.