The Slatest

These Are the Statues Trump Wants to Include in the “National Garden of American Heroes”

Trump is seen in front of Mount Rushmore.
President Donald Trump arrives for the Independence Day events at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota, on Friday. Saul Loeb/Getty Images

At a time when many protesters around the country have been calling to tear down Confederate statues as well as other monuments that honor the country’s racist past, President Donald Trump insists that what the country needs is even more statues. During a confrontational speech in which he delivered a divisive message that warned about the threat of a “new far-left fascism,” Trump announced an executive order to establish a “National Garden of American Heroes” that will include statues of “historically significant Americans.”


Trump had previously condemned protesters for tearing down statues and even signed an order in June to call for the prosecution of those who vandalize statues or other historical monuments. He returned to that theme on Friday when he spoke in front of Mount Rushmore, claiming protesters were “determined to tear down every statue, symbol, and memory of our national heritage.” Trump also claimed that calls to remove statues amounted to an effort to “defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children.”


The executive order that the White House unveiled Friday evening also harshly criticizes efforts to remove statues. “To destroy a monument is to desecrate our common inheritance,” reads the order. “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.” That is why “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.”


The order goes on to give a new task force 60 days to present plans for the garden of statues that must be “lifelike or realistic” and “not abstract or modernist.” The order also specifies that the garden must be “located on a site of natural beauty,” close to a city, and able to be opened by July 4, 2026. The garden should include “historically significant Americans” who “contributed positively to America throughout our history.” The order gives Founding Fathers, abolitionists, police officers killed in the line of duty, and “opponents of national socialism or international socialism” as just a few of the examples of people who could be included. “None will have lived perfect lives, but all will be worth honoring, remembering, and studying,” reads the order.


The lists historical figures to be included in the National Garden, although it also makes clear that they should not be limited to those on the list. The list includes several obvious names like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Martin Luther King Jr.. But also others that are bound to raise more controversy, including Ronald Reagan, Antonin Scalia, and Billy Graham. Although the statues should be of “historically significant Americans,” those who “made substantive historical contributions to the discovery, development, or independence of the future United States” can also be depicted, including Christopher Columbus, Junipero Serra, and the Marquis de Lafayette.

These are all the historical figures mentioned in the order:

• 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

• Orville and Wilbur Wright