Indianapolis marks anniversary of Kennedy speech, MLK death

Kennedy spoke at Ball State University that same day. Photo courtesy Paul Troxell
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Forty-six years ago today, the nation was stunned to learn Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot and killed.

Riots broke out in cities across the country, but not in Indianapolis. That's because Robert F. Kennedy was speaking here and broke the news to the crowd, urging them to remain peaceful.

A ceremony at Martin Luther King Jr. Park marked the moment Friday.

Watch Kennedy's speech here.

"Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings," Kennedy told the crowd in Indianapolis. "He died in the cause of that effort. On this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it's perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black, considering the evidence evidently is that white people were responsible, you can be filled with bitterness and with hatred and a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country and greater polarization; black people amongst blacks and white amongst whites filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort as Martin Luther King did to understand and to comprehend and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion and love."

Also, WTHR would like to thank photographer Paul Troxell, who shared photos of Kennedy speaking hours earlier that day at Ball State University.