LITTLE ROCK — The Democratic Party of Arkansas said Wednesday it has renamed its annual summer fundraising event formerly known as the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner to honor former President Bill Clinton.
For 35 years, the dinner’s name honored Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, but last year the party said it would remove the two former presidents’ names from the event. The party said in a news release Wednesday that beginning this year, the fundraiser, set for July 22 in Little Rock, will be known as the Clinton Dinner.
The party joins a growing list of state Democratic parties that have done away with “Jefferson-Jackson dinners.” Both presidents were slave owners, and Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which led to the forcible removal of Native Americans from their homelands in what is commonly referred to as the Trail of Tears.
While Democrats have distanced themselves from Jackson, Republican President Donald Trump has praised him repeatedly, placed a portrait of him in the Oval Office and made a pilgrimage to his tomb in Nashville since taking office.
The state Democratic Party said its first Clinton Dinner will be held at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock. The keynote speaker will be Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.