Fireworks and big displays of patriotism aren’t exactly unheard of in Washington on the Fourth of July. But President Donald Trump has promised to ratchet up the festivities to a new level this year -- and effectively suggested turning a national holiday into a political rally.
“HOLD THE DATE!” Trump tweeted on Sunday, touting a “Salute to America” event to be held at the Lincoln Memorial.
Washington has for decades staged a non-partisan event each Independence Day that’s nationally broadcast on PBS. “A Capitol Fourth” is staged on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, two miles from Trump’s proposed gathering at the Lincoln Memorial. In 2018 it featured stars including Stevie Wonder, Reba McEntire and Gloria Estefan as well as the National Symphony Orchestra. A massive fireworks display, one of the nation’s largest, caps off the evening.
Trump’s tweet -- which was re-tweeted more than 23,000 times and had attracted 37,000 comments -- quickly spawned the #holdthedate hashtag on Twitter. Other suggestions for holding the date included Halloween, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
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