President Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, Dennison, TX
Memorial Day 2022
The attacks on American historic monuments and memorials may have begun with iconic statues like Robert E. Lee in New Orleans. But as many warned, the advance into other American historical personages was not far behind. While the debate has been going on about the future of Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue, other traces of America’s history have been quietly targeted for destruction.
In New Orleans, the iconoclast group, Take ‘em down NOLA, included in their list of demands the Victory Arch erected to honor the veterans of WWI. The group, emboldened by their success with Lee, quickly demanded removal of President Andrew Jackson, and recently updated their ‘hit list’ to include President George Washington as well as parks named after them, and though not a President, Benjamin Franklin was an American founder and the school named after him must go!
In Jacksonville, Florida (named after Andrew Jackson) Take ‘em down JAX and their allies, the Jacksonville Progress Coalition, seeks to rename the City, remove a statue and a school named after Jackson. This group has been successful in tying the city into knots over their demands to remove all evidence of the city’s Southern history including bridges, monuments, schools and more. The group is also known for their efforts to defund the police. The hit list includes a large bronze sculpture by iconic American sculptor Allen George Newman famous for Spanish American War soldier statue “The Hiker”.
The Lincoln memorial in Washington DC has been vandalized with paint at least two times since 2015, and in December 2020, the City of Boston decided to remove the iconic statue of President Abraham Lincoln from Park Plaza just a block from Boston Common. This particular statue is a twin of the iconic Emancipation Memorial in Washington, DC in Lincoln Park by artist Thomas Ball. Others have been vandalized with paint, burned, and torn down.
But the attacks aren't limited to 18th and 19th century Presidents.
#26 Theodore Roosevelt’s equestrian statue by James Earle Frasier located at the American Museum of Natural History was vandalized in 2021 and removed in January 2021 from where it stood since 1939. This very prominent and public removal from such a prominent museum confounds the argument that controversial monuments should be moved to museums.
But latter 20th century presidents have also been targeted. WW II supreme commander and #34, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s veteran’s monument in Denison, TX Loy Lake Park was vandalized with paint in April 2021.
The memorial to President #35 John F. Kennedy – himself a Navy veteran - in Dallas was vandalized twice in 1999, and again in 2006. In 2017 the bust to Kennedy, erected in London and unveiled by Robert F. Kennedy, was shot at by vandals.
Where the destruction of American history will end is anyone’s guess. But a leader of the NOLA iconoclasts, in a NPR interview, said anything before “at least” the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act is a target.
As patriotic Americans, we have a duty hold the line on the era of American Iconoclasm and push back against the Cancel Culture. In honor of Memorial Day, consider chipping in to help tell the story of the massive destruction of American art in the summer of 2020 – with a donation to the crowd – funded documentary by acclaimed Documentary journalist Ed Hooper.
The iconoclasts have already produced several documentaries, gleefully cataloguing their successes in destruction of our American artistic history and art heritage justifying their efforts. The patriotic story of American art and honor needs to be told, too.
Thank you, and let their memory not be forgotten. Please help how you can.
Guardians of American History