Trump Signs Executive Order Establishing Patriotic Education Commission

Bill Pan
By Bill Pan
November 2, 2020Trump Administration
Trump Signs Executive Order Establishing Patriotic Education Commission
President Donald Trump acknowledges supporters after holding a campaign rally in Newtown, Pa., on Oct. 31, 2020. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump signed a new executive order establishing the “1776 Commission” to promote patriotic education in the United States.

“Just signed an order to establish the 1776 Commission,” Trump announced on Twitter a day before the presidential election. “We will stop the radical indoctrination of our students, and restore PATRIOTIC EDUCATION to our schools!”

Trump first indicated in September that he would launch a national commission as part of his administration’s effort to counter the revisionist history being taught in American institutions. Dubbed the “1776 Commission,” the initiative is a direct rebuke of the New York Times’ 1619 Project, which portrays the United States as inherently racist, and argues that the year of 1619, not 1776, marked the nation’s “true founding.”

The stated goal of the commission is “to better enable a rising generation to understand the history and principles of the founding of the United States in 1776, and, through this, form a more perfect Union.”

“In recent years, a series of polemics grounded in poor scholarship has vilified our Founders and our founding,” the order states. “It is necessary to provide America’s young people access to what is genuinely inspiring and unifying in our history, as well as to the lessons imparted by the American experience of overcoming great national challenges. This is what makes possible the informed and honest patriotism that is essential for a successful republic.”

The Commission will be established within the Department of Education, according to the order. The president will appoint its members, who will be tasked to produce a report on “the core principles of the American founding and how these principles may be understood to further enjoyment of ‘the blessings of liberty’ and to promote our striving ‘to form a more perfect Union.'”

The Commission, which is scheduled to expire after two years, will also advise or offer recommendations to the federal government on plans to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution. It will set up a “Presidential 1776 Award” to recognize student knowledge of the American founding, including “knowledge about the Founders, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitutional Convention, and the great soldiers and battles of the American Revolutionary War.”

The order comes amid the Trump administration’s combat against what’s known as critical race theory. In his executive order in September, Trump called for an end to federally funded, “blame-based” training programs that reinforce the idea that some individuals are “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive” only because they belong to a certain sex or race.

“Such ideas may be fashionable in the academy, but they have no place in programs and activities supported by federal taxpayer dollars,” the order stated.

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.