Monday, May 30, 1921 - Memorial Day
Encounter in the elevator
Whether - and to what extent -- Dick Rowland and Sarah Page knew each other has long been a matter of speculation. It seems reasonable that they would have least been able to recognize each other on sight, as Rowland would have regularly ridden in Page's elevator on his way to and from the restroom. Others, however, have speculated that the pair might have been lovers -- a dangerous and potentially deadly taboo, but not an impossibility... Whether they knew each other or not, it is clear that both Dick Rowland and Sarah Page were downtown on Monday, May 30, 1921 -- although this, too, is cloaked in some mystery. On Memorial Day, most -- but not all -- stores and businesses in Tulsa were closed. Yet, both Rowland and Page were apparently working that day...
What happened next is anyone's guess. After the riot, the most common explanation was that Dick Rowland tripped as he got onto the elevator and, as he tried to catch his fall, he grabbed onto the arm of Sarah Page, who then screamed. It also has been suggested that Rowland and Page had a lovers' quarrel. However, it simply is unclear what happened. Yet, in the days and years that followed, everyone who knew Dick Rowland agreed on one thing: that he would never have been capable of rape.