President Joe Biden canceled ex-President Donald Trump’s plans for a “National Garden of American Heroes” that would have included statues of six Alabamians.
Trump’s executive order called for the creation of a statuary park to honor Americans of historic significance. The park, first announced during a speech by Trump on Mount Rushmore in 2020, was scheduled to open on July 4, 2026, on the 250th anniversary of the proclamation of the Declaration of Independence.
Biden revoked the decree creating the park as well as several other executive decrees from his predecessor, including one that enacted stricter penalties for the degradation of historic monuments and another that made it easier to prosecute social media companies.
The 240 statues chosen to be included in the park were chosen by the Trump-appointed interagency task force for the construction and reconstruction of monuments to American heroes.
The Alabamians on the list were:
- Singer Nat King Cole, originally from Montgomery.
- Writer and activist Helen Keller of Tuscumbia.
- Harper Lee of Monroeville, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird”.
- Quadruple Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens of Oakville.
- Coretta Scott King of Marion, activist, writer and wife of the Reverend Martin Luther King, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
- Rosa Parks of Tuskegee, the activist best known for her role in the Montgomery bus boycott.
Several people have also been featured in Alabama history, such as Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., who led Dexter Ave Baptist Church. de Montgomery, scientist George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, founder of the Tuskegee Institute, and Desmond Doss, Medal of Honor recipient who died in Piedmont.