A Historic Anniversary

Virginia Flag

The Flag of the Commonwealth of Virginia (Wikimedia Commons).

Today is a special Throwback Thursday. It marks the anniversary of two historic events tied to the state of my birth.

On June 12, 1776, the Fifth Virginia Convention unanimously adopted the Virginia Declaration of Rights. This little known document drafted by founding father George Mason—with the assistance James Madison, Patrick Henry, and others—influenced both the United States Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Bill of Rights.

On June 12th, 1967, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Mildred and Richard Loving in Loving v. Virginia, overturning bans on interracial marriage across the country.

That these two historic events occurred on the same day 191 years apart reminds of a well-known saying that Dr. Martin Luther King quoted on several occasions: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”  It also teaches us what Dr. King knew from his own life and ministry, that we are the moral agents that must keep bending that arc the right way.

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