CJM anniversary event delayed due to COVID-19

An event to honor Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie has been postponed to 2021. An event to honor Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie has been postponed to 2021. |  Photo: WDIO-TV file

Updated: March 31, 2020 11:31 AM

An event that was set to mark the 100th anniversary of a Duluth lynching is being postponed until next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The June 15 event was intended to commemorate Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie.  A memorial to the men stands at the downtown Duluth corner where they were lynched in 1920.

Organizers had hoped to gather 10,000 people for the event but said Tuesday that June "is likely too early" to responsibly gather so many people, or even a fraction of that number.

"For the health, safety, and recovery of our community, we feel it’s best to hold off. Not only to combat the virus itself, but to allow businesses, organizations, and individuals to begin to heal and recover from the impacts," CJMM, Inc. said in a statement on its website.

The group is still planning virtual events to happen during June 2020 and is now planning to hold the large scale commemoration until June 2021.

"This was not an easy decision. Our team has worked for the last year and a half to secure funding, build relationships, raise awareness, and plan. It is heartbreaking for many of our team members. But we know it is the right call," the statement reads.

The announcement came on the same day that Grandma's Marathon, which was also set for late June, announced the cancellation of this year's race.

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