TULSA, Okla. — A political rally for President Donald Trump scheduled for June 19 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 20. It will be Trump’s first rally since March.
Many people criticized the administration for the date and location, pointing out the rally was set to take place on the Juneteenth holiday.
Juneteenth, or June 19, is a day that many people celebrate the end of slavery in the United States. It marks the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas learned that they, and all other slaves in the U.S., had been granted freedom.
Trump initially defended the original rally date, saying, “Think about it as a celebration. My rally is a celebration.” He also noted he did not intend to schedule the rally on the holiday.
“It’s going to be really a celebration, and it’s an interesting date," Trump told Fox News’ Harris Faulkner in an interview. “It wasn’t done for that reason, but it’s an interesting date, but it’s a celebration.”
Critics also pointed out that, while some people would be celebrating emancipation, the rally would take place on the holiday in a city that once held one of the worst racial massacres in the country’s history.
A description of the event on History.com explains what happened during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre:
“A white mob attacked residents, homes and businesses in the predominantly black Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The event remains one of the worst incidents of racial violence in U.S. history, and one of the least-known: News reports were largely squelched, despite the fact that hundreds of people were killed and thousands left homeless.”
About 300 residents were reportedly killed, and an affluent district dubbed “The Black Wall Street” was destroyed.
Trump said he heard concerns and shifted the date of the rally, accordingly.
“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,” the president wrote on Twitter. “I have therefore decided to move our rally to Saturday, June 20th, in order to honor their requests.”
The rally will still take place in Tulsa.
Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, said Friday that at least 300,000 people have registered for the rally.
Parscale said officials are considering planning a second event in the city to accommodate the overwhelming response to support Trump.