President Donald Trump signed an order Monday to establish the “1776 Commission” in an effort to reform how American schools teach history.
The commission “will work to improve understanding of the history and the principles of the founding of the United States among our Nation’s rising generations,” according to a press release. Trump announced the initiative in September, where he slammed The New York Times’ “1619 Project,” which pushes slavery to the center of America’s founding.
In a tweet announcing the signed order, Trump wrote that “We will stop the radical indoctrination of our students, and restore PATRIOTIC EDUCATION to our schools!”
Just signed an order to establish the 1776 Commission. We will stop the radical indoctrination of our students, and restore PATRIOTIC EDUCATION to our schools!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2020
The president previously called the “1619 Project” – implemented in schools across the country and criticized by multiple historians – a “crusade against American history.” Trump added that the project “is toxic propaganda, ideological poison that, if not removed, will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together” and “destroy our country.”
Trump’s executive order does not name the “1619 Project” directly, but includes similar language that the president has used in denouncing the initiative. (RELATED: Scholars Demand Pulitzer Prize Board Rescind Award Given To NYT Writer Leading ‘1619 Project’)
“Despite the virtues and accomplishments of this Nation, many students are now taught in school to hate their own country, and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but rather villains,” the executive order reads. “This radicalized view of American history lacks perspective, obscures virtues, twists motives, ignores or distorts facts, and magnifies flaws, resulting in the truth being concealed and history disfigured.”
The “1776 Commission” will be established by the Secretary of Education within 120 days of Monday’s order, according to the document, which notes that one of the aims is to help “a rising generation to understand the history and principles of the founding of the United States in 1776.”
Previously, the “1619 Project” suggested America’s “true founding” was when the first slaves arrived in 1619. This note was quietly scrubbed from the project and it’s currently described as “an ongoing initiative” that “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”
Trump’s “1776 Commission” will include no more than 20 members “appointed by the president,” according to the order. It will also include various “ex-officio members or such senior officials as those members may designate,” the order reads.
“We will state the truth in full, without apology: We declare that the United States of America is the most just and exceptional Nation ever to exist on Earth,” Trump declared in a Monday press release about the executive order.