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President Trump signs bill to make Kennedy-King Park in Indianapolis a National Commemorative Site

Posted at 12:02 AM, Apr 04, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS -- President Donald Trump signed a bill into law Tuesday that recognizes Kennedy-King Park in Indianapolis as a National Commemorative Site. 

The legislation commemorates the Landmark for Peace Memorial in Indianapolis, the site of Robert F. Kennedy's famous speech following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and establishes it as a part of the African American Civil Rights Network. 

On April 4, 1968, Kennedy was in Indianapolis for a campaign event when he learned of the tragic death of Martin Luther King Jr.

READ | 50 years later, Hoosiers remember Robert Kennedy speech in Indy

Although many on Kennedy's team urged him to cancel his appearance for his own safety, he refused. Instead, he gave a historic speech that is credited with keeping the peace in the city of Indianapolis on a night when violence was erupting across the nation. 

Congressman André Carson (D-Ind) and Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-Ind) introduced H.R. 4851 in the House, and Senators Donnelly and Young introduced companion legislation, S. 2332, in the Senate.

READ | Indianapolis' MLK Memorial Park: From small park to national icon

“To this day, Hoosiers warmly remember Senator Kennedy’s moving speech and recognize his heartfelt words as the reason Indianapolis remained calm and peaceful while riots swept much of the nation in the aftermath of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination,” said Senator Young. “This legislation recognizes a significant moment in Indiana’s history, and I am grateful the President has signed this bill into law as we prepare to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Senator Kennedy’s speech.”

“With today’s bill signing, we are bringing much needed recognition to a site that epitomizes the ideals of Senator Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King,” said Rep. André Carson. “As new generations carry on the march toward civil rights, I hope that this site will serve as a reminder of the need for non-violence and tolerance in our community and world.”

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Senator Kennedy’s speech to Hoosiers in Indianapolis, his powerful message of unity and peace in response to violence is more timely and important than ever. As a nation, I hope we can look back to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and Senator Kennedy’s remarks and learn from their calls for unity. I am proud the President signed into law a bipartisan bill that provides well-deserved national recognition to the hallowed ground where Senator Kennedy made his historic speech that kept our city calm in times of turmoil and despair,” said Rep. Susan Brooks.

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