SIGNED INTO LAW: President Trump Signs Kennedy-King Commemorative Site Act
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Today, President Trump signed into law H.R. 4851, the Kennedy-King Commemorative Site Act, legislation introduced by Congressman André Carson (D-IN) and co-sponsored by Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN). Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced a companion bill in the Senate. This legislation commemorates the Landmark for Peace Memorial in Indianapolis where Senator Robert F. Kennedy delivered a timeless speech on the day Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, and establishes the site as a part of the newly created U.S. Civil Rights Network.
On April 4, 1968, Kennedy was scheduled to be in Indianapolis for a campaign event when he learned of the tragic death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Kennedy decided to speak to the crowd and inform them of the tragic news in a manner that called for a nonviolent reaction. As a result, while many other cities erupted in violence and rioting following Dr. King’s assassination, Indianapolis did not suffer riots or bloodshed. Today, Indianapolis is commemorating the 50th anniversary of Senator Robert F. 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 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,” said Brooks. “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.”
“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 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 commemorate the 50th anniversary of Senator Kennedy’s speech this week.”
“I’m proud that this bipartisan legislation to establish Kennedy-King Park as a National Commemorative Site and to make it part of the African American Civil Rights Network is now law,” said Donnelly. “The designation of this site, where Senator Robert F. Kennedy gave his historic speech following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s tragic assassination, highlights the continued efforts in the community to celebrate diversity and equality as a source of strength for our state and our country.”
Brooks and Carson wrote an op-ed in the Indy Star about Senator Kennedy’s historic speech 50 years ago. To read their op-ed, click here.