President Trump was originally slated to speak in Tulsa today on the holiday of Juneteenth. It was June 19, 1865, that enslaved Africans in Texas first learned they were free, two years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Trump moved the date of the speech after facing widespread criticism. On Thursday, Trump told The Wall Street Journal, “I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous. It’s actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it.” The Wall Street Journal reports Trump learned of the holiday, which has been celebrated for over 150 years, from one of his own Secret Service agents who is Black.
Meanwhile, members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union plan to mark Juneteenth by shutting down the country’s West Coast ports to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
And in Washington, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered the removal of four Confederate portraits from the House ahead of Juneteenth.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “There’s no room in the hallowed halls of this democracy, this temple of democracy, to memorialize people who embody violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the Confederacy.”
A Confederate monument was also removed overnight in Decatur, Georgia.