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H.R. 4851 (115th): Kennedy-King National Commemorative Site Act

The text of the bill below is as of Jan 19, 2018 (Introduced).

Summary of this bill

Source: Republican Policy Committee

H.R. 4851 designates the Landmark for Peace Memorial as a National Commemorative Site, and makes it part of the African American Civil Rights Network, but it would not be a unit of the National Park System. It also authorizes the National Park Service (NPS) to enter into cooperative agreements for interpretation and education at the site, and authorizes a resource study to evaluate the national significance of the site and to determine the sustainability and feasibility of designating the site as a unit of the National Park System.

On April 4, 1968, Senator Robert Kennedy was scheduled to give a campaign speech in Indianapolis during his run for the ...



2d Session

H. R. 4851


January 19, 2018

(for himself, Mr. Banks of Indiana, Mrs. Brooks of Indiana, Mr. Bucshon, Mr. Hollingsworth, Mr. Messer, Mr. Rokita, Mr. Visclosky, Mrs. Walorski, Mr. Kennedy, and Mr. Lewis of Georgia) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources


To establish the Kennedy–King National Historic Site in the State of Indiana, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Kennedy–King Establishment Act of 2018.



Congress finds as follows:


On April 4, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy had scheduled a speech in Indianapolis, Indiana, during his campaign for the presidency of the United States.


Just before giving his remarks, Mr. Kennedy was informed of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. before the news became widely known publicly.


Mr. Kennedy changed his planned remarks to instead inform the large gathering of Dr. King’s death and did so in a manner that called for a non-violent reaction to the violent death.


Mr. Kennedy’s call for non-violence in a moment of unbearable pain helped temper Indianapolis’ reaction to Dr. King’s assassination so that, unlike many other cities that erupted in violence and rioting, Indianapolis did not suffer riots or bloodshed in the days after Dr. King’s assassination.


Mr. Kennedy’s speech on this volatile occasion has been described as one of the great addresses of the 20th Century as a call for unity in a time of great unrest.


Mr. Kennedy’s heartfelt leadership and call for non-violence in the face of violence, and prior to his own assassination, continues to be a model for Americans everywhere.


The current park site was established in 1961 and has served the community as a gathering place for social movements and engagement, which is why it was selected as the location for Mr. Kennedy’s speech.


A memorial sculpture, Landmark for Peace honoring Mr. Kennedy and Dr. King was erected on the site in 1994 to commemorate the events of April 4, 1968 and the message of non-violence taught by both leaders.


Mr. Kennedy’s improvised remarks to a stricken community continue to resonate today and this site continues to inspire social engagement with his words, Why don’t we make a monument to peace where all of us can live together, not with walls coming up but with walls tearing down, so we can go forward together.


The site of Mr. Kennedy’s speech on April 4, 1968, should be preserved as a national treasure and this preservation is most fitting on the 50th anniversary of the speech.



In this Act:


Historic site

The term Historic Site means the Kennedy–King National Historic Site established by section 4(a).



The term Map means the map entitled Kennedy–King National Historic Site Proposed Boundary..



The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.



The term State means the State of Indiana.


Establishment of the Kennedy–King National Historic Site




In general

Subject to paragraph (2), there is established the Kennedy–King National Historic Site in the State as a unit of the National Park System to preserve, protect, and interpret for the benefit of present and future generations the site of Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s April 4, 1968 speech associated with the Kennedy–King Park in Indianapolis, Indiana.


Conditions for establishment

The Historic Site shall not be established until the date on which the Secretary determines that sufficient land has been acquired for the Historic Site to constitute a manageable unit.



The boundaries of the Historic Site shall be the boundaries generally depicted on the Map.


Availability of map

The Map shall be on file and available for public inspection in the appropriate offices of the National Park Service.


Acquisition authority


In general

The Secretary may acquire any land or interest in land located within the boundary of the Kennedy–King Park by—




purchase with donated or appropriated funds;




lease or no-cost lease; and


cooperative agreements to facilitate continued access, maintenance, and promote the success of the site, including revenue generation.


Boundary revision

On the acquisition of any property within the Kennedy–King Park under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall revise the boundary of the Historic Site to include that property.


Prohibition on Admission Fees

The Secretary shall not charge for admission fees to the Historic Site.




In general

The Secretary shall administer the Historic Site in accordance with—


this Act; and


the laws generally applicable to units of the National Park System, including—


section 100101(a), chapter 1003, and sections 100751(a), 100752, 100753, and 102101 of title 54, United States Code; and


chapter 3201 of title 54, United States Code.


Management plan


In general

Not later than 6 months after the date on which funds are made available to prepare a general management plan for the Historic Site, the Secretary shall prepare the general management plan in accordance with section 100502 of title 54, United States Code.


Submission to Congress

Immediately after completion of the general management plan under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall submit the general management plan to the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate.