The former president proposed the memorial last year to honor dozens of American historical figures.
President Joe Biden put the kibosh on his predecessor’s planned “National Garden of American Heroes” on Friday and revoked the executive orders of former President Donald Trump, which are aimed at the moderation policy of social media companies and the branding of American foreign aid.
In a separate executive order, Biden overturned the task force formed by Trump to create the new memorial proposed by the former president last year. It was supposed to show sculptures of dozens of American historical figures, including presidents, athletes and pop culture icons, whom Trump envisioned as “a huge outdoor park with the statues of the greatest Americans who ever lived.”
Trump himself curated the list of over 30 people, which included Davy Crockett, Billy Graham, Whitney Houston, Harriet Tubman, and Antonin Scalia, but no location was chosen and the garden was never funded by Congress.
Trump repeatedly condemned the desecration and overthrow of historic statues by protesters during protests against racial injustice and police brutality following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year.
“We will raise the next generation of American patriots,” said Trump during a speech last July on Mount Rushmore, where he announced his idea for the garden. “We will write the next exciting chapter in the American adventure. And we will teach our children to know that they live in a land of legend, that nothing can stop them and that no one can hold them down. “
Trump’s executive order establishing the garden said that priority should be given to monuments to former presidents, individuals, and events related to the European discovery of North America, the establishment of the United States, and the abolition of slavery.
“No one will have had a perfect life, but all will be worth honoring, remembering and studying,” reads the order that has now been canceled.
Other Trump executive actions have been overturned
Biden’s order also overturned Trump’s May 2020 order asking the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate social media companies to flag or remove posts or entire accounts, which Trump said was a restriction on freedom of speech . That order came before Trump was removed from platforms like Twitter and Facebook even after the January 6 riot at the Capitol.
The president also ended Trump’s December 2020 order to brand all US foreign aid with a single “logo that embodies the values and generosity of the American people.”
Also revoked was Trump’s order from June 2020, according to which the federal government should pursue vandalism and the destruction of statues on federal property “to the greatest possible extent according to federal law”. The order came in response to the defacing of statues – particularly those honoring the Confederation – during nationwide protests against racial injustice following the murder of George Floyd in police custody.
Biden also targeted a Trump proclamation requiring immigrants to show that they were covered by certain health insurance plans within 30 days of entering the US, or to show that they could cover medical expenses.
“My administration is committed to expanding access to quality, affordable health care,” said Biden as he revoked this proclamation. “We can achieve this goal, however, without preventing the entry of non-citizens who wish to legally immigrate to this country but who lack significant financial resources or who have not purchased health insurance from a restrictive list of qualified plans.”