Among his final executive orders, Trump lists 244 names for proposed National Garden of American Heroes

Among his final executive orders, Trump lists 244 names for proposed National Garden of American Heroes
Just before leaving office, President Donald Trump released a list of names for those who could be recognised in National Garden of American Heroes. Courtesy Flickr Commons | Photo: Shealah Craighead)

Just days before leaving Washington DC, soon to be former President Donald Trump issued an executive order with a list of 244 people who could be memorialized with a statue in his proposed “National Garden of American Heroes.”

Issued on January 18th, the executive order is an update to an order Trump issued in July of last year in response to heightened tensions concerning public statues and memorials. During his Independence Day speech, controversially delivered at the base of Mount Rushmore, Trump announced plans for the garden that would honour what he called “the giants” of US history. It was then that Trump created the Interagency Task Force for Building and Rebuilding Monuments to American Heroes, a task force that was instructed to locate a home for the garden and drive the project forward.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump stand before Mount Rushmore for Fourth of July celebrations when Trump announced plans for the “National Garden of American Heroes.” Courtesy the White House via Flickr Commons.


“Across this Nation, belief in the greatness and goodness of America has come under attack in recent months and years by a dangerous anti-American extremism that seeks to dismantle our country’s history, institutions, and very identity,” reads the order in part. It goes on to compare growing frustration with statues devoted to problematic people and events and the vandalism of memorials to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the US Civil War. According to Trump, the garden would be “America’s answer” to the “reckless attempt to erase [America’s] heroes, values, and entire way of life.”

Figures from both recent and more distant history have made the list but more than 70 percent of those included so far are men. Their accomplishments are varied, ranging from the sciences, to politics, to sports, to activism, among other fields. Among the artists who could be honoured are Ansel Adams, Charles Wilson Peale, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Norman Rockwell.

The garden, which is unlikely to actually come to fruition, is certainly an unusual suggestion that has raised eyebrows and drawn criticism. In October, Trump even joked about naming the garden after himself. Executive director of the American Historical Association James Grossman said the list of suggested honourees ranged from “odd to probably inappropriate to provocative.”

Historian Michael Beschloss weighed in telling Axios: “No president of the United States or federal government has any business dictating us citizens who our historical heroes should be. This is not Stalin’s Russia. Any American who loves democracy should make sure there is never some official, totalitarian-sounding ‘National Garden of American Heroes,’ with names forced upon us by the federal government.”

As it presently stands, the following are the individuals the executive order lists as those who should be recognised in the garden:

Ansel Adams
John Adams
Samuel Adams
Muhammad Ali
Luis Walter Alvarez
Susan B. Anthony
Hannah Arendt
Louis Armstrong
Neil Armstrong
Crispus Attucks
John James Audubon
Lauren Bacall
Clara Barton
Todd Beamer
Alexander Graham Bell
Roy Benavidez
Ingrid Bergman
Irving Berlin
Humphrey Bogart
Daniel Boone
Norman Borlaug
William Bradford
Herb Brooks
Kobe Bryant
William F. Buckley, Jr.
Sitting Bull
Frank Capra
Andrew Carnegie
Charles Carroll John Carroll
George Washington Carver
Johnny Cash
Joshua Chamberlain
Whittaker Chambers
Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman
Ray Charles
Julia Child
Gordon Chung-Hoon
William Clark, Henry Clay
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
Roberto Clemente
Grover Cleveland
Red Cloud
William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody
Nat King Cole
Samuel Colt
Christopher Columbus
Calvin Coolidge
James Fenimore Cooper
Davy Crockett
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.
Miles Davis
Dorothy Day
Joseph H. De Castro
Emily Dickinson
Walt Disney
William “Wild Bill” Donovan
Jimmy Doolittle
Desmond Doss
Frederick Douglass
Herbert Henry Dow
Katharine Drexel
Peter Drucker
Amelia Earhart
Thomas Edison
Jonathan Edwards
Albert Einstein
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Duke Ellington
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Medgar Evers
David Farragut
The Marquis de La Fayette
Mary Fields
Henry Ford
George Fox
Aretha Franklin,
Benjamin Franklin
Milton Friedman
Robert Frost
Gabby Gabreski
Bernardo de Gálvez
Lou Gehrig
Theodor Seuss Geisel
Cass Gilbert
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
John Glenn
Barry Goldwater
Samuel Gompers
Alexander Goode
Carl Gorman
Billy Graham
Ulysses S. Grant
Nellie Gray
Nathanael Greene
Woody Guthrie
Nathan Hale
William Frederick “Bull” Halsey, Jr.
Alexander Hamilton
Ira Hayes
Hans Christian Heg
Ernest Hemingway
Patrick Henry
Charlton Heston
Alfred Hitchcock
Billie Holiday
Bob Hope
Johns Hopkins
Grace Hopper
Sam Houston
Whitney Houston
Julia Ward Howe
Edwin Hubble
Daniel Inouye
Andrew Jackson
Robert H. Jackson
Mary Jackson
John Jay
Thomas Jefferson
Steve Jobs
Katherine Johnson
Barbara Jordan
Chief Joseph
Elia Kazan
Helen Keller
John F. Kennedy
Francis Scott Key
Coretta Scott King
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Russell Kirk
Jeane Kirkpatrick
Henry Knox
Tadeusz Kościuszko
Harper Lee
Pierre Charles L’Enfant
Meriwether Lewis
Abraham Lincoln
Vince Lombardi
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Clare Boothe Luce
Douglas MacArthur
Dolley Madison
James Madison
George Marshall
Thurgood Marshall
William Mayo
Christa McAuliffe
William McKinley
Louise McManus
Herman Melville
Thomas Merton
George P. Mitchell
Maria Mitchell
William “Billy” Mitchell
Samuel Morse
Lucretia Mott
John Muir
Audie Murphy
Edward Murrow
John Neumann
Annie Oakley
Jesse Owens
Rosa Parks
George S. Patton, Jr.
Charles Willson Peale
William Penn
Oliver Hazard Perry
John J. Pershing
Edgar Allan Poe
Clark Poling
John Russell Pope
Elvis Presley
Jeannette Rankin
Ronald Reagan
Walter Reed
William Rehnquist
Paul Revere
Henry Hobson Richardson
Hyman Rickover
Sally Ride
Matthew Ridgway
Jackie Robinson
Norman Rockwell
Caesar Rodney
Eleanor Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Betsy Ross
Babe Ruth
Jonas Salk
John Singer Sargent
Antonin Scalia
Norman Schwarzkopf
Junípero Serra
Elizabeth Ann Seton
Robert Gould Shaw
Fulton Sheen
Alan Shepard
Frank Sinatra
Margaret Chase Smith
Bessie Smith
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Jimmy Stewart
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Gilbert Stuart
Anne Sullivan
William Howard Taft
Maria Tallchief
Maxwell Taylor
Kateri Tekakwitha
Shirley Temple
Nikola Tesla
Jefferson Thomas
Henry David Thoreau
Jim Thorpe
Augustus Tolton
Alex Trebek
Harry S. Truman
Sojourner Truth
Harriet Tubman
Dorothy Vaughan
C. T. Vivian
John von Neumann
Thomas Ustick Walter
Sam Walton
Booker T. Washington
George Washington
John Washington
John Wayne
Ida B. Wells-Barnett
Phillis Wheatley
Walt Whitman
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Roger Williams
John Winthrop
Frank Lloyd Wright
Orville Wright
Wilbur Wright
Alvin C. York
Cy Young
Lorenzo de Zavala