President Donald Trump signed a measure Monday creating a new national historic park for Martin Luther King Jr. during a trip to the college football national championship game in Atlanta.
A week before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Trump signed a bill into law that would create a new national historic park. The civil rights icon’s niece Alveda King and nephew Isaac Newton Farris Jr. were among those by the president’s side.
According to CNN, the law expands the boundaries of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. Now, it also includes the Prince Hall Masonic Temple, which served as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s headquarters.
Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis, sponsored the bill and said he is “so proud that we were able to work in a bipartisan, bicameral manner” to establish Georgia’s first National Historical Park ahead of King’s birthday and the 50th anniversary of his assassination.
“I hope that this moment will serve as a reminder of the constant work to realize Dr. King’s dream of building the Beloved Community — a community at peace with itself and our neighbors,” Lewis said in a statement.
“Through his life and work, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made America more just and free,” said White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley on Monday aboard the plane. “This important historical park tells his story, and this bill will help ensure that the park continues to tell Dr. King’s story for generations to come.”
King’s niece, Alveda King, joined Trump for the private signing ceremony.
“Through his life and work, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made America more just and free,” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters aboard Air Force One.
“This important historical park tells his story, and this bill will help ensure that the park continues to tell Dr. King’s story for generations to come,” he added.
King’s birthplace was already considered a National Historic Site. The bill signed by Trump upgrades its status to a National Historical Park, and also expands the boundaries to include the Prince Hall Masonic Temple, the headquarters of the civil rights organization co-founded by King.
King is perhaps the most recognizable leader of the civil rights movement. He was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., in 1968.