President Trump announced on Twitter Friday night that he has decided to reschedule his June 19 rally in Tulsa, Okla., in observance of the Juneteenth holiday.
Juneteenth, short for “June Nineteenth,” is a holiday widely celebrated by the Black community as it marks the end of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865. Trump’s announcement of his rally’s rescheduling comes after much backlash regarding his decision to hold a rally on that date, particularly in Tulsa, where the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre resulted in 300 deaths and the destruction of many Black-owned businesses.
“We had previously scheduled our #MAGA Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for June 19th — a big deal. Unfortunately, however, this would fall on the Juneteenth holiday,” Trump tweeted. “Many of my African American friends and supporters have reached out to suggest that we consider changing the date out of respect for this holiday, and in observance of this important occasion and all that it represents.”
…of respect for this Holiday, and in observance of this important occasion and all that it represents. I have therefore decided to move our rally to Saturday, June 20th, in order to honor their requests…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2020
In the same series of tweets, Trump announced that the rally has been rescheduled to June 20, noting that there have already been 200,000 ticket requests for the event. This will be Trump’s first campaign rally since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which barred large gatherings of any kind. In order to attend the rally, all ticket holders must sign a waiver acknowledging that they won’t sue the Trump campaign if they contract COVID-19 at the event.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a press release Wednesday that he is grateful Trump has chosen Tulsa as his first campaign stop since the coronavirus outbreak.
“We are honored President Trump accepted our invitation to our great state,” Stitt said. “The President is making Oklahoma his first campaign stop since March 2, and his visit here confirms Oklahoma is the national example in responsibly and safely reopening.”