Today is a very special anniversary for my family. Forty-three years ago today, Mildred and Richard Loving won the Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia, allowing interracial couples to marry.
Illegal to marry in Virginia, the Loving's drove to Washington DC to take their vows. Upon return to Virginia, they were arrested and sentenced to one year in prison for violation of the Virginia Racial Integrity Act of 1924 that criminalized marriage between whites and non-whites. Their sentence was suspended for 25 years on the condition they agreed to leave the state.
The Lovings appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case, Loving v. Virginia, was decided unanimously in the Lovings' favor on June 12, 1967. The Court overturned their convictions.
The couple never wanted to be famous, just happy. They went on to have three children.
Richard Loving died at age 41 in 1975, when a drunken driver struck their car. Mildred Loving died of pneumonia on May 2, 2008, in Milford, Virginia, at age 68. Her daughter, Peggy, said, “I want [people] to remember her as being strong and brave, yet humble—and believ[ing] in love.” The final sentence in Mildred Loving's obituary in the New York Times read, "A modest homemaker, Loving never thought she had done anything extraordinary. 'It wasn't my doing,' Loving told the Associated Press in a 2007 interview. 'It was God's work.'
On a personal note, I, too, think it was God's work. His signature is in their last name!
The Rabbits' Wedding is, hands down, my youngest daughters favorite book. It has been as far back as I can remember. It's a sweet story about two little rabbits, one white and the other black, who fall in love and want to be together forever. The illustrations are darling! Garth Williams is famous for illustrating many books, two of the most notable are Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web. Here's a favorite page that always produces laughs:
Interestingly, the book was banned in several places during the 1960's for fear that it was "brainwashing" children into thinking integration/interracial marriage was good. Sweet message + darling illustrations = priceless! BUY IT HERE!