Sweetening the Past
DOI link for Sweetening the Past
Sweetening the Past book
In 2016, California State Representative Matthew Harper of Huntington Beach proposed a new state holiday: John Wayne Day. John Wayne is a Californian worth celebrating, Harper argued, citing his values of “self-reliance, patriotism, and determination.” Indeed, Wayne is iconic, known for his portrayals of rugged cowboys in the Westerns of mid-century Hollywood. In California, he is the namesake of the Orange County airport, which features a nine-foot-tall statue of his likeness. In 1979, he received the Congressional Medal of Honor, and in 1980, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.