INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis park where Robert Kennedy called for peace and unity just hours after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. is being designated a National Historic Site.
A bill approved by Congress for the designation was signed by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, ahead of Wednesday’s events at the park marking the 50th anniversary of King’s death.
The park at 17th and Broadway streets, near downtown Indianapolis is where Kennedy was to make an April 1968 presidential campaign speech, but instead told the crowd of King’s assassination and asked for a nonviolent reaction.
Many in attendance that day said Kennedy gave a heartfelt speech that caused them to reflect on the work of King instead of their anger. Kennedy also related to the loss of life since his brother President John F. Kennedy also was killed by an assassin.
Participants in Wednesday’s event included Georgia congressman and 1960s civil rights activist John Lewis and Robert Kennedy’s daughter, Kerry Kennedy.
“With today’s bill signing, we are bringing much needed recognition to a site that epitomizes the ideals of Sen. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King,” said Rep. André Carson. Carson and Rep. Susan W. Brooks sponsored the bill. “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.”
Editor Oseye Boyd contributed to this article.