Boosted by President Trump’s blooper mispronouncing the name of Yosemite National Park, the National Museum of American Jewish History has seen sales for a t-shirt with the saying “Yo Semite” skyrocket.
During the signing of the Great American Outdoors Act on August 4, Trump pronounced Yosemite (“yo-sem-it-ee”) as “yo semites” while extolling the beauty of the park’s trees, and then repeated it — bungling the name even more — for good measure a moment later.
The “Yo Semite” shirt has been for sale since 2011, and it has been a popular item at the museum’s physical and online stores, according to Emily August, its director of communications and public engagement.
However, Trump’s televised blooper brought a whole lot of new attention to the shirt.
“Sales of the ‘Yo Semite’ shirt increase anytime Yosemite is in the news, so we knew there would be an influx of orders of some volume and that we had a short window to ride the wave of the news cycle and social media attention,” August told CNN. “But I’m not sure we could have anticipated something of this scale and pace.”
Capitalizing on Trump’s blooper, the museum promoted the shirt on its social media channels, and sales have been “off the charts” as a result. The shirt has received “unprecedented attention recently,” and the museum is working to fulfill orders as quickly as possible.
“When we first started tracking sales last week, we had sold enough shirts in the first 30 hours to equal almost our entire July sales,” August said. “And now, less than a week later, our total shirt sales have exceeded the prior three months of sales combined.”
Created by artist Sarah Lefton, the shirt was inspired by her day job at a Jewish summer camp near Yosemite National Park, according to the museum’s website.
Above the words “Yo Semite” are two trees that resemble sequoia trees. Three groves in Yosemite National Park are home to giant ancient sequoias trees, with the oldest being 3,266 years old, according to the National Parks Service website.