Here on the evening of April 4, 1968, Kennedy came to address a large crowd of mostly African Americans in his bid for Democratic Party nomination for president of U.S. Instead, visibly shaken, he gave an impromptu speech about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. that day in Memphis, Tenn.
Kennedy urged the crowd to follow Rev. King's lead and respond with understanding and prayer. Citing the need to avoid division, hatred, and violence, he called for love, wisdom, compassion, and justice. The speech is credited with keeping Indianapolis calm, while other cities reacted with violence.