Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Happy Loving Day!

Mildred and Richard LovingImage via Wikipedia
On June 12, 1967, Mildred and Richard Loving won their Supreme Court battle, which legalized interracial marriage in America.

According to wikipeida, "Loving v. Virginia, was a landmark civil rights case in which the United States Supreme Court, by a 9-0 vote, declared Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute, the "Racial Integrity Act of 1924", unconstitutional, thereby overturning Pace v. Alabama (1883) and ending all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States."


The young couple actually married in 1958, but had to do so in Washington D.C. When they came back to Virginia, they were arrested. The American Civil Liberties Union took up their case and fought it to the top.


Richard Loving was killed in an automobile accident in 1975, and Mildred died of pneumonia in May of 2008. Upon her mother's death, their daughter, Peggy Fortune, told the Associated Press: "I want (people) to remember her as being strong and brave yet humble — and believed in love." (Wikipedia)

The final sentence in Mildred Loving's obituary in The New York Times makes note of the June 2007 statement noted above to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia. Part of the Washington Post’s obituary read: “A modest homemaker, Loving never thought she had done anything extraordinary. ‘It wasn't my doing,’ Loving told the Associated Press in a rare interview a year ago. ‘It was God's work.’" (Wikipedia)

This case hasn't had much attention until recently. In fact, the founder of Lovingday.org stumbled upon the court case while looking for something else. He soon founded the website and it's mission statement is "to fight racial prejudice through education and to build multicultural community." Loving Day celebrations now occur all over the U.S. and it's time for Knoxville to have one too!

This year's celebrations list include Atlanta, GA as our closest location, however, over the next year, I will be busy planning Knoxville's first Loving Day celebration.

For those interested, their story was made into a film called  "Mr. & Mrs. Loving." Though my husband and I enjoyed the film, according to wikipedia, Mildred Loving disputed its accuracy. No surprise there!
Meanwhile, look over the Loving Day site. Notably, the incredible last laws to go. I will post more about the Lovings in the future.

Below image via lovingday.org from a Loving Day celebration:



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