Mildred and Richard Loving
National Loving Day is observed each year on June 12. National Loving Day is an annual celebration that commemorates the anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving vs. Virginia. This decision struck down all anti-miscegenation laws remaining in sixteen U.S. states citing “There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the equal protection clause.” Anti-miscegenation laws in the United States were U.S. state laws banning interracial marriage.
Childhood friends, Mildred and Richard, met when she was 11, and he was 17. Over the years they began courting and in 1958 when she turned 18, they married in Washington. They returned to their hometown north of Richmond and two weeks later, not realizing that interracial marriage was illegal, they were arrested. Mildred and Richard Loving pleaded guilty and to avoid jail time; they agreed to leave Virginia.
The Loving’s moved to Washington D.C. and started legal action writing to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Kennedy referred the case on to the American Civil Liberties Union. The Warren Court unanimously ruled in their favor, and the Loving’s returned to their Virginia home where they resided with their three children.
HOW TO OBSERVE
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National Loving Day is not yet an officially recognized holiday by the U.S. government. However, there is a movement to persuade the government to do so. This day was inspired by Juneteenth and seeks both to commemorate and celebrate the Supreme Courts 1967 ruling, keeping its importance fresh in the minds of a generation which has grown up with interracial relationships being legal as well as explore issues facing couples currently in interracial relationships.