President Donald Trump announced the names on Monday of more than 200 statues to be built as part of his plan for a new “National Garden of American Heroes.”
He said the new garden will demolish the “reckless attempt to erase our heroes” that occurred during last year’s protests and riots that occurred following the death of George Floyd, according to the Washington Times.
The list of names is headlined by author Harper Lee, actor Jimmy Stewart, abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, baseball star Roberto Clemente and explorer Christopher Columbus.
“In the peace and harmony of this vast outdoor park, visitors will come and learn the amazing stories of some of the greatest Americans who have ever lived,” Trump said in a new executive order, which lists all of the names.
The announcement came on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Both King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, made Trump’s list.
Trump left himself off of the list despite being nominated by several people as part of the selection process, government officials said last year.
He first announced the list of names to be honored last summer as Black Lives Matter protests were occurring across the nation and statues recalling American history, such as Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, were being torn down.
Trump’s decision to implement this “National Garden of American Heroes” was a counter to the statues of “American heroes” being destroyed and removed last summer.
His original list of 31 names received criticism for being too short and lacking diversity, as it consisted mainly of white men. Trump’s new list is much longer and much more diverse, including Native Americans, women and other minority groups.
Whether this idea will be moved forward rests in the hands of President-elect Joe Biden as he takes office this week. He could completely eliminate Trump’s proposed list, alter the list of names or push it forward as is.