Death of Martin Luther King Jr.: A Proclamation

by Lyndon B. Johnson

To the People of the United States:

The heart of America grieves today. A leader of his people – a teacher of all people – has fallen.

Martin Luther King Jr., has been struck down by the violence against which he preached 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 expression, continues.

Men of all races, all religions, 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, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States, do call upon all Americans to observe Sunday next, the seventh 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 divisiveness in our country and all its consequences.

I direct that until interment the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff on all buildings, grounds and naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its territories and possessions.

I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

In witness wherefore, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-eight and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-second.

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