|Observed by||United States|
|Significance||Anniversary of Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia|
Loving Day is an annual national 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. 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. 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."
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 of Black and Native American descent classified as "colored" under Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924, and Richard Loving, a white man. The couple met in Central Point, Virginia, when she was 11 and he was 17. Richard Loving was a family friend and they courted over the years. In June 1958, after she became pregnant, they married in Washington, D.C. Mildred Loving was 18 at the time and reportedly did not realize that interracial marriage was illegal. Five weeks following their wedding, they were arrested and 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." The Lovings were sentenced to a year in prison but avoided jail time by leaving Virginia and agreeing not to return to the state for 25 years.
The Lovings moved to Washington, D.C. and began legal action by writing to U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Kennedy referred the case to the American Civil Liberties Union. Two lawyers, Bernard Cohen and Philip Hirschkop, took up the case, arguing that the Virginia law violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
The Warren Court unanimously ruled in favor of the young couple on June 12, 1967, nine years after their wedding, and they returned to Virginia, where they lived with their three children. The court's ruling eliminated anti-miscegenation laws in all 16 states that had them.
In 1975, Richard Loving died in a car accident. Mildred Loving died May 5, 2008, at the age of 68.
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.
In popular culture
- Loving, a 2016 film starring Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton as Mildred and Richard Loving, directed by Jeff Nichols. The film was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, and was nominated for numerous awards, including a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor for Edgerton and Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Negga.
- A documentary, The Loving Story, which features rare contemporaneous photographs of the couple and details the history of the case and references Loving Day, premiered on HBO on Valentine's Day 2012.
- New York Times best-selling author Heidi W. Durrow co-organized the second-largest celebration of Loving Day in the country with Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, during the annual Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival.
- The annual flagship Loving Day Celebration in New York City was featured in the BBC documentary series Our World in 2007, on the 40th anniversary of the Loving decision. Coverage of the annual celebration has also been featured in Time Magazine, on the Voice of America, National Public Radio, The Washington Post, and on PBS NewsHour.
- Several cities and municipalities have issued proclamations officially recognizing Loving Day as a holiday, including Washington, D.C., and Caroline County, Virginia, where the Lovings hailed from.
- "Loving v. Virginia," an opera, is scheduled to premier in 2025 at the Harrison Opera House in Richmond Virginia.
Outside the U.S.
- Tucker, Neely (June 13, 2006). "Loving Day Recalls a Time When the Union of a Man And a Woman Was Banned". The Washington Post.
- 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.
- Gandin Le, Jennifer (June 8, 2007). "Loving Day: It's Not a Hallmark Holiday". The Huffington Post.
- "Loving v. Virginia". Oyez. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
- Shay, Christopher (June 11, 2010). "Loving Day". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
- "Make Loving Day Official". lovingday.org. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
- "'Loving Day' Personified in Presidential Race". NPR.org. June 12, 2008. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
- Shay, Christopher (June 11, 2010). "Loving Day". Time.
- "June 12 is Loving Day — when interracial marriage finally became legal in the U.S." NPR. June 12, 2022. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
- "The History Behind Loving Day". Time. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
- Walker, Dionne (June 10, 2007). "Pioneer of Interracial Marriage Looks Back". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
- "Loving v. Virginia legalized interracial marriage nationwide. The story behind it will now become an opera". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
- 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.
- "Mildred Loving, Key Figure in Civil Rights Era, Dies". PBS NewsHour. May 6, 2008. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
- Martin, Douglas (May 6, 2008). "Mildred Loving, Who Battled Ban on Mixed-Race Marriage, Dies at 68". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
- "Loving Movie | Official Website | Trailers and Release Dates | Focus Features". Loving Movie | Official Website | Trailers and Release Dates | Focus Features. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
- "The Loving Story". Retrieved June 12, 2015.
- HBO Documentary Films: The Loving Story Trailer
- The New York Times Lens blog, "The Heart of the Matter: Love", Jan. 18, 2012
- HBO Documentary Films: The Loving Story
- "Documentary Examines US Struggle to End Bans on Interracial Marriage". VOA. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
- Fredericksburg (VA) Star: "Film retells Lovings' love story", Feb. 6, 2012 Archived February 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- The New York Times Sunday Book Review: "The Bluest Eye", Feb. 28, 2010
- New York Times "Best Sellers: Paperback Trade Fiction", Sunday, March 13th, 2011
- Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival
- "Interview with author Heidi Durrow, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky". Psychology Today. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
- BBC World 24: Our World: Loving vs Virginia, part 3
- "Loving Day Honors Mixed-Marriage, Fights Prejudice". June 11, 2010. Archived from the original on June 13, 2010.
- "Loving Day Marks 1967 Victory for Legal Interracial Marriage". VOA. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
- NPR: "Celebrating 40 Years of Loving Day", June 11, 2008
- The Washington Post: "Mildred Loving Followed Her Heart and Made History", May 6, 2008
- Remembering Mr. and Mrs. Loving. YouTube. June 9, 2010. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
- Caroline County Official Proclamation of June 12 as Loving Day Archived October 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- ACLU of Virginia: "Emotional Gathering in Caroline County Celebrates ACLU Case Striking Down Virginia's Anti-Miscegenation Law", Feb. 5. 2012
- Official announcement for the first LovingDay.NL symposium on Vijfeeuwenimmigratie (“Five Centuries of Immigration”) website (nl)
- Program of 2013 LovingDay.NL symposium on Vijfeeuwenimmigratie website (nl)
- LovingDay. "Loving Day 2015". lovingday.nl. Retrieved June 12, 2015.