King family receives medals on anniversary of Civil Rights Act

American Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) speaks at a press conference for Clergy & Laymen Concerned About Vietnam, held at the Belmont Plaza Hotel, New York City, January 12, 1968. (File) (John Goodwin, Getty Images)
American Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) speaks at a press conference for Clergy & Laymen Concerned About Vietnam, held at the Belmont Plaza Hotel, New York City, January 12, 1968. (File) (John Goodwin, Getty Images)
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Updated: 6/24 2:04 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional leaders on Tuesday commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, by posthumously bestowing the Congressional Gold Medal upon Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King.

The Kings' children, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott King and Bernice A. King, accepted the honor for their parents. The civil rights leader was assassinated in Memphis in 1968 and his wife died in 2006.

Bernice King said in a statement that she and her brothers are deeply honored that their parents are being recognized for their "tireless and sacrificial leadership to advance freedom and justice."

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law on July 2, 1964. It helped end legal discrimination based on race, sex, color, religion and national origin.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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