'Garden Of American Heroes' Would Include Music Greats

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Outgoing U.S. president Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order related to his plan for the creation of a “Garden of American Heroes” – which would include statues of several music artists.

“The gates of a beautiful new garden will soon open to the public where the legends of America’s past will be remembered,” reads the order. “In the peace and harmony of this vast outdoor park, visitors will come and learn the amazing stories of some of the greatest Americans who have ever lived.”

Among those Trump wants to honour with statues are Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Cash, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.

“Each individual has been chosen for embodying the American spirit of daring and defiance, excellence and adventure, courage and confidence, loyalty and love,” reads the president’s executive order. “Astounding the world by the sheer power of their example, each one of them has contributed indispensably to America’s noble history, the best chapters of which are still to come.”

Some of the names on Trump’s list are surprising. According to the book Sinking in the Swamp, “in the year and a half before she passed away, Aretha Franklin would repeatedly call Donald Trump ‘despicable’ and, even more pointedly, a huge ‘piece of s**t.’” Sinatra’s ex-wife Mia Farrow tweeted in July that the crooner “would have loathed Donald Trump,” to which his daughter Nancy Sinatra replied: “He actually did loathe him.”

A site for the garden has not yet been announced but Trump previously said it would be completed by July 4, 2026. Incoming president Joe Biden has the right to rescind the order.

Curiously, the president’s list of American heroes includes Canada’s Alex Trebek, England’s Alfred Hitchcock, Sweden’s Ingrid Bergman, Croatia’s Nikoka Tesla and Scotland’s Alexander Graham Bell. Also named is Christopher Columbus, an Italian who never stepped foot on what is now the U.S.

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