Historical & Current Events dictionary

Loving Day

[ luhv-ing dey ]

What is Loving Day?

Loving Day is a yearly observance of the anniversary of the day in 1967 when the US Supreme Court ruled that laws banning interracial marriage (marriage between people considered to be of different races) were unconstitutional and illegal.

The Supreme Court case that the day commemorates was called Loving v. Virginia. It was brought by Mildred and Peter Loving, an interracial couple who were arrested in Virginia in 1958 for violating the state’s law against interracial marriage.

Loving Day is celebrated by—and observed in celebration of—interracial couples.

When is Loving Day?

Loving Day is celebrated every year on June 12—the anniversary of the day the Supreme Court rendered a decision in Loving v. Virginia in 1967.

Related words

BIPOC, 🤟 I Love You Gesture emoji, 💌 Love Letter emoji, BIPOC Mental Health Month, Black History Month, Women's History Month

Where does Loving Day come from?

Prior to 1967, it was illegal in Virginia for people considered to be of different races to marry—or leave the state to marry and then return, which is what the Lovings  did in 1958. Mildred, who identified as Black and Native American, and Peter, who was white, were both arrested in their home. They were able to avoid a one-year prison sentence under the condition that they leave the state and not return together for 25 years.

The Lovings moved to Washington, DC, and enlisted legal help for their case, which was eventually brought before the Supreme Court. In Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously against Virginia’s interracial marriage ban and additionally declared that all state laws banning interracial marriage were unconstitutional (and therefore illegal) due to violating the Fourteenth Amendment.

The establishment of Loving Day is credited to designer Ken Tanabe. It was first observed in 2004. Recognition of the day and publicity surrounding it have grown since then.

Examples of Loving Day

Thank you for standing your ground, Mildred and Richard. 💕💕 #LovingDay #LovingDay2020
@Mekialaya, June 13, 2020
More than 30 years after the Loving v. Virginia decision, designer Ken Tanabe learned of the monumental ruling while in graduate school at Parsons School of Design. He said he was intrigued by the case because of his own interracial heritage and made it the subject of his graduate thesis project. That project grew into Loving Day, a holiday Tanabe said is celebrated around the country and the world.
N'dea Yancey-Bragg, USA Today, June 10, 2020

Who uses Loving Day?

Those who observe Loving Day often do so by celebrating interracial relationships and discussing the history and state of civil rights.

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