News From Our Blog

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From the National Archives:

Overturning the Racial Integrity Act


Decision, Loving v. Virginia, 06/12/1967
From the Records of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1772 - 2007

In June 1958, Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Jeter, a black woman, quietly married in Washington, DC. They returned home to Virginia and woke up one morning with policemen in their bedroom. The Lovings were arrested for violating the Racial Integrity Act of 1924. 
Richard and Mildred were found guilty and sentenced to one year in jail, or they could accept a plea bargain and leave Virginia. So they left. But by 1963, they sought legal help and the case was eventually sent to the United States Supreme Court. 
Dated June 12, 1967, and initialed by Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren, this page confirms the decision the justices reached—they voted unanimously in favor of the Lovings. The Supreme Court justices ruled Virginia’s law violated the equal protection clause in the 14th amendment. 

(via the “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” eGuide)
The Supreme Court’s Decision is among the featured items at the “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures" exhibit now on display at the National Archives Museum.

Image description

From the National Archives:

Overturning the Racial Integrity Act

Decision, Loving v. Virginia, 06/12/1967

From the Records of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1772 - 2007

In June 1958, Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Jeter, a black woman, quietly married in Washington, DC. They returned home to Virginia and woke up one morning with policemen in their bedroom. The Lovings were arrested for violating the Racial Integrity Act of 1924. 

Richard and Mildred were found guilty and sentenced to one year in jail, or they could accept a plea bargain and leave Virginia. So they left. But by 1963, they sought legal help and the case was eventually sent to the United States Supreme Court. 

Dated June 12, 1967, and initialed by Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren, this page confirms the decision the justices reached—they voted unanimously in favor of the Lovings. The Supreme Court justices ruled Virginia’s law violated the equal protection clause in the 14th amendment

(via the “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” eGuide)

The Supreme Court’s Decision is among the featured items at the “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures" exhibit now on display at the National Archives Museum.

Image description: Are you planning to fly an American flag for Memorial Day? Learn the laws for displaying it.
This photo shows a garrison flag flying at Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine in Baltimore.

Image description: Are you planning to fly an American flag for Memorial Day? Learn the laws for displaying it.

This photo shows a garrison flag flying at Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine in Baltimore.

MAKE GAY MARRIAGE LEGAL IN ALL 50 STATES! Please?

Asked by an anonymous Tumblr user.

Marriage laws vary from state to state and are not determined by the federal government.

The states and areas in the U.S. that perform marriages between same-sex couples are:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois (Champaign and Cook Counties only. Marriages becomes legal in the rest of the state on June 1, 2014.)
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington

If your state is not on this list, then a law would need to be passed to make same-sex marriage legal. You can contact your state legislators to make your opinions known.

Are Fireworks Legal in Your State?

For many people, July 4th means fireworks. But before you use them, make sure they are permitted in your area and you know how to keep yourself and your friends and family safe.

Some states allow all or most types of consumer fireworks (formerly known as class C fireworks). These include shells and mortars, multiple tube devices, Roman candles, rockets, sparklers, firecrackers with no more than 50 milligrams of powder, and novelty items, such as snakes, airplanes, ground spinners, helicopters, fountains, and party poppers.

Other states only allow novelty fireworks or ban fireworks completely.

This summary of regulations is accurate as of June 1, 2013:

  • Alabama - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Alaska - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Arizona - Allows only novelty fireworks.

  • Arkansas - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • California - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Colorado - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Connecticut - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Delaware - Bans all consumer fireworks.

  • District of Columbia - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Florida - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Georgia - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Hawaii - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Idaho - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Illinois - Allows only sparklers and/or other novelties.

  • Indiana - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Iowa - Allows only sparklers and/or other novelties.

  • Kansas - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Kentucky - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Louisiana - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Maine - Allows only sparklers and/or other novelties.

  • Maryland - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Massachusetts - Bans all consumer fireworks.

  • Michigan - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Minnesota - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Mississippi - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Missouri - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Montana - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Nebraska - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Nevada - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • New Hampshire - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • New Jersey - Bans all consumer fireworks.

  • New Mexico - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • New York - Bans all consumer fireworks.

  • North Carolina - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • North Dakota - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Ohio - Allows only sparklers and/or other novelties.

  • Oklahoma - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Oregon - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Pennsylvania - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Puerto Rico - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Rhode Island - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • South Carolina - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • South Dakota - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Tennessee - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Texas - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Utah - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Vermont - Allows only sparklers and/or other novelties.

  • Virginia - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Washington - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • West Virginia - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Wisconsin - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Wyoming - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

Learn more about fireworks safety and laws (PDF).

How to Properly Display the American Flag

There can be confusion and questions about how to properly wear and display the American flag, especially around the summer holidays of Memorial Day and July 4th when many people want to display a flag.

Here is what the law says about using the American flag properly (PDF):

  • The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water or merchandise.

  • The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free.

  • No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.

  • The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying or delivering anything.

  • The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

  • The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat.

Read more rules and regulations that govern flag display (PDF).

Read this post in Spanish.