Did you know that today is National Loving Day? Do you know what this day celebrates?
I did not. However, after a little research, I thought it was interesting enough that I wanted to share what I learned with all of you. Personally, I love learning about our
National Loving Day is observed each year on June 12. It celebrates the anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving vs. Virginia.
This decision struck down laws remaining in 16 of the states that made it illegal for people of different racial classifications to marry each other.
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.
It was not an easy or a fast route to happiness for the couple though. They went through nine years of court battles before the Supreme Court made their decision that just because Mildred was African American and Native American and Richard was white that did not mean that the freedom to marry was no longer one of their personal rights essential to the pursuit of happiness.
The celebration of Loving Day was an invention of Ken Tanabe, a designer who felt passionate about the case and whose own parents were multiracial. He started a Loving Day celebration in 2004 for his thesis at the Parsons School of Design.
This celebration has grown over the years with over 1,000 people participating in New York City. Multicultural celebrations occur across the county celebrating National Loving Day.
The organization that started from Tanabe’s event says their goals are to:
- Create a common connection between multicultural communities, groups and individuals;
- Build multicultural awareness, understanding, acceptance, and identity;
- Educate the public about the history of interracial relationships in order to fight prejudice; and
- Establish a tradition of Loving Day celebrations as a means to achieve these goals.
This year is the 50 year anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court Case. If you
are interested in learning more about the Loving’s story, Jeff Nichols’ made a movie about it called Loving. I haven’t seen it yet, but am excited to check it out.
At Twist of Pine we are going to celebrate National Loving Day by putting all of our Liberate Jewelry 50% off. So, head on into the store Monday, pick out your jewelry and mention this post to get your discount!
It is easy to take all of our personal rights and liberties for granted. We need to remember our history and remember all the work people have done to fight for our freedoms. So celebrate with us in the store tomorrow!
nationaldaycalendar.com, lovingday.org, http://time.com/4364686/loving-day-loving-v-virginia/
Written by: Twist of Pine employee, Stephanie