Today Is National Loving Day

Have you heard of National Loving Day?  June 12th is marked for National Loving Day because it was the day that the United States Supreme Court decided to end laws in many states that banned interracial marriage in 1967.

At times, history is a hard pill to swallow, but let me take you down this historic lane. 

The reason the day called National Loving Day is due to Richard and Mildred Loving.  Mildred was an African and Native American woman, and Richard was a Caucasian man.  Without knowing it, this couple changed laws in regards to interracial marriages.  See, there was a law called the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 that the Virginia General Assembly enacted.  A quick summary is that the act prohibits interracial marriage.  Richard and Mildred Loving resided in the state of Virginia but were legally married in Washington, D.C., in 1958.  According to USA Today, when “they then returned home to Caroline County, Virginia, and not long after they were woken in the middle of the night by a policeman who informed them they were breaking the law.  They were jailed on charges of unlawful cohabitation and offered a choice: either continue to serve jail time or leave Virginia for 25 years. The couple chose the latter and left the state.”

How did it get to the Supreme Court?

Mildred Loving sent a letter to Robert F. Kennedy, who was the Attorney General at the time.  Mrs. Loving stated her thoughts, feelings, and case in the note.  According to the USA Today, Robert F. Kennedy “directed her to the American Civil Liberties Union. A lawyer from the ACLU took their case, which eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, where it was unanimously overturned on June 12, 1967.”

This happened just 53 years ago.  [Let that sink in]

Who created National Loving Day?

The national holiday was created in 2004 by a graduate thesis project by designer Ken Tanabe.  According to National Today, Tanabe “grew up in an interracial family with a Japanese father and a Belgian mother. He launched the holiday in hopes that the day of celebration would bring together multiethnic families from around the world.”

(Source) For more on the story from USA Today, click here.  For more from National Today, click here. 

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