I learned that today is Loving Day! I found it odd that there was a holiday dedicated to “loving”. After doing a little bit of reading I learned that today is the day that Loving v. Virginia struck down down anti-miscegenation laws regarding interracial marriage.
Back on this day in 1967 Mildred and Richard Loving won the lawsuit against the Supreme Court of the United States to declare their marriage legal regardless. Mildred and Richard were childhood sweethearts who ended up having to get married outside of their home state Virginia because of the law. Instead the couple got married in Washington, D.C. in hopes that their marriage would be recognized inside Virginia. However, their house was raided by police one night. After pointing out the marriage license to the police, they were told that their marriage was still illegal. Both were taken into custody. Unjustly, their marriage license was used against them and they ended up pleading guilty to the charges against them. On January 6th, 1959 they were sentenced to one year in prison. But, the sentence was suspended for twenty five years based on the condition that they leave the state of Virginia.
Knowing that they were treated unfairly, Mildred and Richard Loving took on the court system in 1964. Unable to visit their family due to their choice to be happily married, Mildred took matters into her own hands. She wrote a letter to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy who referred her to the Americana Civil Liberties Union. Working with lawyers through the ACLU they went against the state of Virginia. Unfortunately, everything they tried in Virginia was struck down and they were not being heard. After many attempts with the state of Virginia they took their case to the Supreme Court of the United States. Finally, on June 12th, 1967 the Loving’s won the case to strike down anti-miscegenation laws. They were told that their marriage was legal and right. That no state could tell them that they were in the wrong when they happily married. The would go on to have four children and live as they always wished, together.
Sadly, Richard Loving was killed in a car crash in 1975, eight years after the ruling. In the same crash, Mildred lost her right eye. I feel sadness for the couple because they both deserved to be married together for several more years. However, today we remember Mildred and Richard Loving for their defiant stance against anti-miscegenation laws in America. These two people clearly loved each other and were willing to go the distance for love.