Donald Trump issues executive order for 250 statues, including Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley

No explanation of the selection process was provided.

Johnny Cash & Donald Trrump

Image: Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer (cash) & Jamie Squire/Getty Images (trump)

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Yesterday (18 January), Donald Trump issued an executive order for the construction of 250 statues, including that of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Woody Guthrie.

This follows through on a previous pledge, made on July 3 2020, “to establish a statuary park named the National Garden of American Heroes (National Garden)”. The new executive order reveals the full list of statues, which ranges from historical figures to musicians to sports people to politicians and more. It does not, however, provide any indication whatsoever about the selection process behind the statues.

Apart from Cash, Presley and Guthrie, a number of other prominent American musicians are featured on the list, including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra.

Curiously, the list of 250 ‘American Heroes’ also includes a number of non-Americans. Namely, Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman, British director Alfred Hitchcock, and Canadian Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek.

“The National Garden will be built to reflect the awesome splendour of our country’s timeless exceptionalism,” Trump said in the executive order.

“It will be a place where citizens, young and old, can renew their vision of greatness and take up the challenge that I gave every American in my first address to Congress, to ‘[b]elieve in yourselves, believe in your future, and believe, once more, in America.’”

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