Sussman Shank recognizes two days this month that hold historical significance in our nation’s history: the June 19th day of commemoration of Juneteenth and the 53rd anniversary of the June 12th Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, or Loving Day.

June 19th, or Juneteenth, commemorates the day on June 19, 1865 in which Union leadership announced in Galveston, Texas the emancipation of all slaves in Texas, following Robert E. Lee’s surrender to the Union army on April 9,1865. This was a watershed moment in the long fight to end the institution of slavery, and is commemorated today by forty-seven states, including Oregon.

On June 12th, 1967, Loving Day, the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Loving v. Virginia.  The case stemmed from the appeals of Mildred Delores Loving, a black woman, and Richard Perry Loving, a white man living in Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Loving were a married couple who were arrested by local police while sleeping in their home in Central Point, Virginia. The two were criminally charged and convicted under miscegenation laws prohibiting people of different races from marriage. The two appealed their convictions. On June 12, 1967,the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the Lovings’ conviction. Chief Justice Earl Warren, writing the seminal opinion, wrote that to deny the right to marry “on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law.”

Sussman Shank joins the community in remembering both Juneteenth and Loving Day as part of our shared American history. We mark these events as chances for all of us to reflect on the hard-fought battles for equality and inclusiveness in our past, and to set the bar for today’s struggle towards a more equal, just, and inclusive society for all races, ethnicities, religions, genders, and orientations in the future.

Information regarding the history of Juneteenth can be found here.

Information regarding the history of Loving v. Virginia can be found here.