National Loving Day is on June 12th. Learn more about the origin of this holiday and the history of this day of love here.
When I was growing up in the 1970s and 80s, interracial marriage was still very taboo. But when I was in High School, I sat across from a very sweet girl whose parents were an interracial couple. It was my first exposure to actually knowing someone who was a part of an interracial family.
Now, well into the 21st century, that seems so strange. My oldest son is dating a very intelligent, creative and beautiful woman who happens to be of another race. Honestly, how could anyone have a problem with it? I love her so much and am so thankful she came into our lives!
Though attitudes toward interracial couples have changed a LOT in my life time, they definitely need to continue to improve.
Hopefully, with days like National Loving Day, we can spread awareness and share the joy of embracing our differences!
So, let’s learn more about National Loving Day!
When is National Loving Day?
National Loving Day is every year on June 12!
What is National Loving Day?
National Loving Day is actually the anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision, which struck down all laws against interracial marriage and relationships that remained in sixteen U.S. states. 
These kinds of laws were first introduced to the colonies in the late 1600s and remained in some form until the 1967 decision.
A short explanation of Loving v. Virginia
Just because they got married, Mildred Loving, a black woman (who also self-identified as native american descent) and her husband, Richard Loving, a white man, were sentenced to an entire year in prison.
In the state of Virginia, there was the Racial Integrity Act of 1925 which made marriage between “white” people and “colored” people illegal.
Though they appealed their conviction to the Supreme Court of Virginia, their appeal was denied. That didn’t stop them. As a result, they bravely took it to the U. S. Supreme Court, which agreed to hear their arguments.
The Supreme Court’s decision changed everything. The justices decided that these kinds of laws actually violated the 14th Amendment.
“Under our Constitution,” wrote Chief Justice Earl Warren, “the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.” 
Because the Lovings won their appeal, that meant all of the laws against interracial marriage and relationships in the entire United States were deemed null and void. 
No longer did people of different races face barriers that prevented them from marrying the person that they loved!
This momentous decision helped the US to take a step in the right direction toward liberty and justice for all citizens regardless of race.
When was National Loving Day Created?
It actually took over 30 years for the inception of National Loving Day.
While at Parsons design school, Ken Tanabe learned about the Supreme Court decision and was intrigued because he came from an interracial family.
Ken has a Japanese father and a belgian mother. Because of his heritage, he decided to bring attention to what he calls this, “milestone for civil rights”. And so, He decided to honor this day by creating a “design-driven social change program” as his thesis for graduation. 
Why do we Celebrate National Loving Day?
Today we celebrate National Loving Day because each human being, regardless of their ethnicity, has a right to love and marry whomever they choose. When two people who are from different cultures fall in love, they should be afforded the same rights and privileges of people who fall in love and are of the same race.
It is with great joy that we celebrate the end of this discrimination that created unlawful segregation in marriage.
Ideas for Celebrating National Loving Day
If you are in an interracial relationship or have loved ones who are, today is a very important day and worthy of celebrating!
Here are a few ideas for making today special:
- Find or Organize a rally promoting awareness of National Loving Day
- Throw a party for your closest friends and family to celebrate this momentous Supreme Court Case
- Give your spouse a small gift to let them know how thankful you are they are in your life and that it is no longer a crime to be together
Noteworthy Stats about Interracial Marriage
- By 1980, the share of intermarried newlyweds had about doubled to 7%.
- Public approval of interracial marriage rose from around 5% in the 1950s to around 80% in the 2000s.
- Today, approximately 17% of married couples are interracial
Even though I am not in an interracial relationship, I’m so thankful that our country no longer has laws banning them. People are people no matter the color of their skin and, we here at National Day Ideas, stand in solidarity with those who still struggle because of the world’s and our nation’s continued prejudice against them.
Happy National Loving Day!