Joe Biden nixed one of Donald Trump’s plans for a lasting legacy: A National Garden Of American Heroes, filled with statues of historical figures, sports stars, entertainers, business figures, activists and inventors.
Just two days before he left office, Trump signed an executive order that spelled out who would be honored at the new memorial: Everyone from Paul Revere to Ray Charles, Whittaker Chambers to Whitney Houston. Others on the list: Alex Trebek and Kobe Bryant.
Trump already had announced plans for the National Garden, in a speech at Mount Rushmore last July when he called for a vast park that would feature “the statues of the greatest Americans to ever live.”
It was a response in part to the pulling down of statutes during protests following the death of George Floyd, as well as the planned removal of Confederate monuments across the country.
Planners of the National Garden had envisioned a massive monument, perhaps even larger than the National Mall, with more than 200 names put forward for inclusion. But the project never got congressional funding, leading to great skepticism that it ever would see the light of day. Many recently opened monuments in Washington, D.C., like the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial and the National World War I Memorial, got built after years of planning and design battles.
Trump had named a task force to work on the national garden, but it didn’t get much farther than the planning stage.
Biden also rescinded Trump’s executive order that called for a crackdown on social media companies, after Twitter began labeling some of his tweets for fact-checking purposes. That order called for the Justice Department and eventually the FCC to investigate whether changes could be made to a federal law that gives platforms legal immunity for the way that they moderate content.
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