On Monday, President Donald Trump signed the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park Act of 2017, which upgraded King’s birthplace from a national historic site to a national park.
The president signed the act on Air Force One shortly after touching down in Marietta, Georgia, ahead of the college football national championship game between the University of Georgia and the University of Alabama.
“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 on 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 birthplace, the church where he was baptized, and his burial place were already a national historic landmark. Now, the national park status extends to these places as well as the Prince Hall Masonic Temple, headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.