Trump reschedules Tulsa rally to avoid Juneteenth

Shamim Adam
Bloomberg News

President Donald Trump said his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 19 will be moved to the next day because of the Juneteenth observance and after criticism of the choice of date.

Juneteenth, which takes place on June 19, commemorates the day in 1865 on which enslaved people in Texas belatedly learned that slavery in the U.S. had been abolished. The date is not recognized as a federal holiday and is largely commemorated within the U.S. African American community.

Trump said many of his African American supporters had reached out to ask for the rally to be moved “out of respect” for the day, according to a post on Twitter late Friday. It will now take place on June 20.

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a roundtable discussion about "Transition to Greatness: Restoring, Rebuilding, and Renewing," at Gateway Church Dallas, Thursday, June 11, 2020, in Dallas.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The campaign had halted its signature rallies in March after Americans adopted social-distancing practices to curb the coronavirus outbreak.

But Trump’s choice of when and where to resume the big, often raucous campaign gatherings is freighted with significance, particularly in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police last month and the nationwide protests that have followed. Tulsa is the site of one of the worst massacres of black people by whites in the U.S., the 1921 attack on the neighborhood of Greenwood, once known as “Black Wall Street.”

Trump said in an interview with Fox News on Thursday that his campaign didn’t intentionally choose Juneteenth as the date for the rally.