June 12, 2012 - Loving Day

Did you know that, in many places, it used to be against the law for a white person to marry a black person?

Crazy, huh?

And it wasn't hundreds and hundreds of years ago! I was alive—a teenager!— when the U.S. Supreme Court declared laws against interracial marriage unconstitutional. This decision was announced on this date in 1967.

You might think that the day is called “Loving Day” in honor of this historic anniversary because the decision meant that two people who love each other could marry, no matter their “race” or “color.” But, actually, the case was called Loving v. Virginia because the couple who brought the case to court were Mildred and Richard Loving. Seriously, that was their last name! How perfect is that?

 Mildred was black and Rappahannock (Native American), and Richard was white. They had gotten married in the District of Columbia, where “mixed marriage” wasn't illegal, in June of 1958, but they lived in Virgina. A group of police officers burst into their house and even their bedroom and there arrested the Lovings for being married! The couple pled guilty and were sentenced to one year in prison—but they could get out of going to jail by moving to another state.

Of course, they chose to move to another state.

You can check out the official
Loving Day website and
merchandise here.
Richard and Mildred Loving moved to the District of Columbia. A few years after that the American Civil Liberties Union filed a motion in the Virginia state trial court to “vacate the judgment” because the Viriginia law against mixed marriage was a bad law. The ACLU said that the law was unconstitutional, based on people's rights as set out in the Fourteenth Amendment.

And from that 1963 filing until 1967, the court case moved through a series of lawsuits, until it finally reached the Supreme Court and a very good – and final – decision.

Celebrate Loving Day!

Also on this date:

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