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Trump’s ‘Yo Semite’ Gaffe Sends Jewish Museum’s Sales Rocketing

© AP Photo / Jamie Richards/National Park ServiceIn this May 27, 2020, photo provided by the National Park Service, Yosemite Valley School, lower right, stands in Yosemite National Park, Calif. In the background is Upper Yosemite Falls.
In this May 27, 2020, photo provided by the National Park Service, Yosemite Valley School, lower right, stands in Yosemite National Park, Calif. In the background is Upper Yosemite Falls. - Sputnik International
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A mildly popular T-shirt with a mildly elegant pun has been flying off the shelf courtesy of Donald Trump, who put a Middle Eastern spin on an otherwise American location.

A Jewish Museum has capitalised heavily on President Donald Trump’s blooper butchering the name of Yosemite National Park.

Trump on Tuesday stumbled twice over the word, incorrectly pronouncing it as “Yo-Semite” instead of “Yo-SEM-i-tee”.

​The gaffe has benefited the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, which has been selling T-shirts with images of two sequoia redwood trees alongside the words “Yo Semite” since 2011.

The museum sold nearly $30,000 worth of shirts and other merchandise in the first 30 hours after the blooper. An unexpected spike in traffic even crashed the website at one point.

​Kristen Kreider, the museum’s director of retail and visitor experience, said the unprecedented sales from the shirt alone nearly matched the shop’s revenue for the entirety of June.

“It just keeps gathering momentum,” she told the Philadelphia Business Journal. “I just keep thinking, ‘OK, this is going to be over in the next couple of hours. It’ll die down.’ And it doesn’t. It just keeps on going, and we’ll take it.” 

The museum usually sells about 100 of the shirts every year, but online shoppers grabbed some 1,500 in just three days, according to Kreider.

Founded in 1976, the museum filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early march, having racked up some $30 million in debt due to the construction of a new building a decade ago.

Shoppers drawn by the shirts are also buying other merchandise from the online store and donating funds, Kreider said, adding “it’s just a win-win for the museum, any way you look at it.”

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