Trump Reveals Who He Wants Statues to Honor in National Garden

What do Kobe Bryant, Bob Hope and Thomas Jefferson have in common? They are among the more than 200 names that President Donald Trump has recommended to be honored in a yet-to-be created National Garden of American Heroes.

Trump, who leaves office on Wednesday, had previously announced that he wanted the Department of Interior to build the statue garden during an address at Mount Rushmore last July 4, as protestors toppled statues to the Confederacy around the country.

"We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues or erase our history," Trump told a crowd of supporters in that address. He described the proposed garden as "a vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the greatest Americans to ever live."

But Monday marked the first release of the full roster of intended honorees, after a Trump-appointed task force spent weeks vetting suggestions. It's still unclear where the garden, for which Trump has directed the Department of the Interior to fund the construction and upkeep, would be built as a "monument to our country's greatness."

"The National Garden will be built to reflect the awesome splendor of our country's timeless exceptionalism. It will be a place where citizens, young and old, can renew their vision of greatness," Trump wrote in his executive order. "Across this nation, belief in the greatness and goodness of America has come under attack in recent months and years by a dangerous anti-American extremism that seeks to dismantle our country's history, institutions, and very identity."

Because it's established through an executive order, and not a law passed by Congress, incoming President Joe Biden or a future president would have the ability to end the effort. Trump's executive order instructed that it be open for public access before the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, which will happen in 2026.

The hodgepodge list of proposed honorees that Trump revealed on Monday—just days before leaving office—includes legendary musicians Louis Armstrong and Elvis Presley, writers Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain, and former presidents George Washington and Harry S. Truman. The full list can be found here.

Trump faced backlash for celebrating the Independence Day holiday with an event at Mount Rushmore that drew nearly 4,000 people.

"I am here as your president to proclaim before the country, and before the world, this monument will never be desecrated," Trump told the crowd during his speech before fireworks and an Air Force flyover.

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US President Donald Trump speaks after touring a section of the border wall in Alamo, Texas on January 12, 2021. MANDEL NGAN / AFP/Getty