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Trump pushes Tulsa rally back to avoid Juneteenth conflict at request of black supporters


'In observance of this important occasion'

President Donald Trump gestures at a campaign rally at Las Vegas Convention Center on Feb. 21 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump announced Friday that his first campaign rally since the COVID-19 lockdowns began would be pushed back one day at the request of black supporters, in order to avoid holding it on the same day as the Juneteenth holiday.

The president was scheduled to hold a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Friday, June 19. The rally will now be on Saturday.

"We had previously scheduled our #MAGA Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for June 19th – a big deal," Trump tweeted. "Unfortunately, however, this would fall on the Juneteenth Holiday. 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. I have therefore decided to move our rally to Saturday, June 20th, in order to honor their requests. We have already had ticket requests in excess of 200,000 people. I look forward to seeing everyone in Oklahoma!"

What is Juneteenth? Juneteenth is a holiday to remember June 19, 1865, when federal troops arrived in Texas to ensure that all slaves in the state were freed. Texas had become something of a safe haven for slavery, even 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Slavery was formally abolished in December of that year by the 13th Amendment.

Texas is among 47 states that recognize Juneteenth as a holiday, although efforts to make it a national holiday have been unsuccessful.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the only black Republican U.S. senator, said he didn't think President Trump was aware of the significance of Juneteenth.

"My understanding is he moved the date once he understood the Juneteenth," Scott said, according to USA Today. "I'm not sure that the planners on his inner-circle team thought about June 19th, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and race riots. Unless you're doing a historical check, you probably don't get those dots connected."

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