Loving Day

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Loving Day
Observed byUnited States
SignificanceAnniversary of Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia
DateJune 12

Loving Day is an annual celebration held on June 12, the anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia which struck down all anti-miscegenation laws remaining in sixteen U.S. states.[1][2][3] In the United States, anti-miscegenation laws were U.S. state laws banning interracial marriage, mainly forbidding marriage between two different races, until the Warren Court ruled unanimously in 1967 that these state laws were unconstitutional.[4][5] Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in the court majority opinion that "the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State."[4]

Loving Day is not an officially recognized holiday by the U.S. government, despite attempts to make it so.[6][7] Loving Day is the biggest multiracial celebration in the United States.[8]


Loving Day originated with the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage. The case was brought by Mildred Loving (née Jeter), a woman classified as "colored" under Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924, and Richard Loving, a white man, who first met when she was 11 and he was 17. He was a family friend and over the years they courted. After she became pregnant, they married in Washington, D.C., in 1958, when she was 18.[9] Reportedly, Mildred did not realize that interracial marriage was illegal, and they were arrested a few weeks after they returned to their hometown north of Richmond, Virginia. They pleaded guilty to charges of "cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth", and avoided jail time by leaving Virginia and agreeing not to return to the state for 25 years.[10]

The Lovings moved to Washington, D.C., and began legal action by writing to U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.[11] Kennedy referred the case to the American Civil Liberties Union. After the Warren Court unanimously ruled in favor of the young couple, they returned to Virginia, where they lived with their three children. In 1975, Richard Loving died in a car accident. Mildred Loving died May 5, 2008, at the age of 68.[12] Each June 12, the anniversary of the ruling, Loving Day events around the country mark the advances of mixed-race couples and Mixed Race people.[citation needed]


Many organizations sponsor annual parties across the country, with Lovingday.org providing an online legal map, courtroom history of anti-miscegenation laws, as well as offering testimonials by and resources for interracial couples. Inspired by Juneteenth (which commemorates the end of slavery in the state of Texas), Loving Day seeks both to commemorate and celebrate the Supreme Court's 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. The Loving Day website features information, including court transcripts of the Loving v. Virginia case and of other court cases in which the legality of anti-miscegenation laws was challenged. To celebrate the holiday, people are encouraged to hold parties in which the case and its modern-day legacy are discussed, in smaller settings such as living rooms, backyards, etc., as well as in larger gatherings. Ken Tanabe is credited with forming the idea for Loving Day. He created the idea in 2004 for his senior thesis at Parsons the New School of Design.[8]

In popular culture[edit]

Outside the U.S.[edit]

Since 2013,[32][33] Loving Day has been celebrated with an annual symposium at De Balie theater in Amsterdam, organized by the Stichting Loving Day foundation.[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tucker, Neely (June 13, 2006). "Loving Day Recalls a Time When the Union of a Man And a Woman Was Banned". The Washington Post.
  2. ^ Bussel, Rachel Kramer (June 6, 2006). "Love Actually: Talking with Ken Tanabe, founder of Loving Day". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on July 2, 2006.
  3. ^ Gandin Le, Jennifer (June 8, 2007). "Loving Day: It's Not a Hallmark Holiday". The Huffington Post.
  4. ^ a b "Loving v. Virginia". Oyez. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  5. ^ Shay, Christopher (June 11, 2010). "Loving Day". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  6. ^ "Make Loving Day Official". lovingday.org. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  7. ^ "'Loving Day' Personified in Presidential Race". NPR.org. June 12, 2008. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Shay, Christopher (June 11, 2010). "Loving Day". Time.
  9. ^ Walker, Dionne (June 10, 2007). "Pioneer of Interracial Marriage Looks Back". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  10. ^ Earl Warren (June 12, 1967). "LOVING v. VIRGINIA". Archived from the original on November 18, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2016. On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pleaded guilty to the charge and were sentenced to one year in jail; however, the trial judge suspended the sentence for a period of 25 years on the condition that the Lovings leave the State and not return to Virginia together for 25 years ... After their convictions, the Lovings took up residence in the District of Columbia.
  11. ^ "Mildred Loving, Key Figure in Civil Rights Era, Dies" Archived June 13, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, PBS Online News Hour, May 6, 2008
  12. ^ Martin, Douglas. "Mildred Loving, Who Battled Ban on Mixed-Race Marriage, Dies at 68" Archived December 1, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, New York Times, May 6, 2008.
  13. ^ "Loving Movie | Official Website | Trailers and Release Dates | Focus Features". Loving Movie | Official Website | Trailers and Release Dates | Focus Features. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  14. ^ "The Loving Story". Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  15. ^ HBO Documentary Films: The Loving Story Trailer
  16. ^ The New York Times Lens blog, "The Heart of the Matter: Love", Jan. 18, 2012
  17. ^ HBO Documentary Films: The Loving Story
  18. ^ "Documentary Examines US Struggle to End Bans on Interracial Marriage". VOA. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  19. ^ Fredericksburg (VA) Star: "Film retells Lovings' love story", Feb. 6, 2012 Archived February 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ The New York Times Sunday Book Review: "The Bluest Eye", Feb. 28, 2010
  21. ^ New York Times "Best Sellers: Paperback Trade Fiction", Sunday, March 13th, 2011
  22. ^ Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival
  23. ^ "Interview with author Heidi Durrow, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky". Psychology Today. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  24. ^ BBC World 24: Our World: Loving vs Virginia, part 3
  25. ^ "Loving Day Honors Mixed-Marriage, Fights Prejudice". June 11, 2010. Archived from the original on June 13, 2010.
  26. ^ "Loving Day Marks 1967 Victory for Legal Interracial Marriage". VOA. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  27. ^ NPR: "Celebrating 40 Years of Loving Day", June 11, 2008
  28. ^ The Washington Post: "Mildred Loving Followed Her Heart and Made History", May 6, 2008
  29. ^ Remembering Mr. and Mrs. Loving. YouTube. June 9, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  30. ^ Caroline County Official Proclamation of June 12 as Loving Day Archived October 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ ACLU of Virginia: "Emotional Gathering in Caroline County Celebrates ACLU Case Striking Down Virginia's Anti-Miscegenation Law", Feb. 5. 2012
  32. ^ Official announcement for the first LovingDay.NL symposium on Vijfeeuwenimmigratie (“Five Centuries of Immigration”) website (nl)
  33. ^ Program of 2013 LovingDay.NL symposium on Vijfeeuwenimmigratie website (nl)
  34. ^ LovingDay. "Loving Day 2015". lovingday.nl. Retrieved June 12, 2015.

External links[edit]