A plethora of music icons including Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin, Woody Guthrie, Elvis Presley and Billie Holiday are set to be included in Donald Trump’s National Garden of American Heroes. This initiative was passed via executive order to honor “historically significant” people “who made substantive contributions to America’s public life or otherwise had a substantive effect on America’s history.”
Other music icons include Louis Armstrong, Irving Berlin, Nat King Cole, Whitney Houston, Francis Scott Key (who wrote the lyrics for “The Star-Spangled Banner,”) Frank Sinatra and Bessie Smith. These musicians join a list of several American presidents and celebrities such as Kobe Bryant, Alex Trebek, Alfred Hitchcock, Muhammad Ali, Julia Child and Steve Jobs. Some on the list are also well-known conservatives from history, including Antonin Scalia, Barry Goldwater and Walmart founder Sam Walton.
This monument was first announced on July 3, 2020, during an Independence Day celebration at Mount Rushmore in Keystone, South Dakota. Each of the figures listed will have a statue made to commemorate them in this proposed garden plan. The Task Force for Building and Rebuilding Monuments to American Heroes will allocate funding from the United States Department of the Interior to help develop this site.
While Woodie Guthrie never interacted with Donald Trump, he wasn’t a fan of his father Fred Trump, who owned the Beach Haven apartment complex in Gravesend, Brooklyn, where he temporarily resided. His lyrics for “Old Man Trump” deride Fred Trump as a man who stirred up racial hatred in his complexes.