President Johnson went on national television for the second time in 24 hours on Thursday (April 5) to issue a statement mourning the death of Dr.
LBJ READING STATEMENT
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Background: President Johnson went on national television for the second time in 24 hours on Thursday (April 5) to issue a statement mourning the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Dr. King was killed by a sniper on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee on Wednesday (April 4). The President earlier declared Sunday (April 7) a day of national mourning for the 29-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner.
The President said: "We must move with urgency and with resolve and with new energy in the Congress and in the courts and in the White House and in the statehouse and in the city halls of this nation, wherever there is leadership, political leadership, leadership in the churches, in the homes, and the schools and the institutions of higher learning until we do overcome."
The President then read the text of the proclamation he issued earlier. The following is the text:
The heart of America grieves today. A leader of his people - a teacher of all people - has fallen.
Martin Luther King, Dr., has been struck down by violence against which he proached and worked.
Yet the cause for which he struggled has not fallen. The voice that called for justice and brotherhood has been stilled -- but the quest for freedom, to which he gave eloquent impression, continues.
Men of all races, all religious, all regions must join together in this hour to deny violence its victory - and to fulfill the vision of brotherhood that gave purpose to Martin Luther King's life and works.
Now, therefore, T, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States, do call upon all Americans to observe Sunday next, the 7th day of April, as a day of national mourning throughout the United States, in our churches, in our homes, and in our private hearts, let us resolve before God to stand against devisiveness in our country and all its consequences.