Search: virginia is for lovers origin
Why: There was a "Freaks and Geeks" marathon on IFC yesterday, and Neal had a "Virginia Is for Lovers" towel.
Answer: Virginia is for lovers of things in Virginia!
A $100-a-week copywriter came up with an advertising concept that read, "Virginia is for history lovers." For a beach-oriented ad, the headline would have read, "Virginia is for beach lovers"; for a mountains ad, "Virginia is for mountain lovers," and so on. Martin thought the approach might be too limiting, and the agency dropped the modifier and made it simply "Virginia is for Lovers." The first ad mentioning the new slogan ran in the March 1969 issue of "Modern Bride."
The More You Know: One thing it is not supposed to mean:
Contrary to what some may think, the slogan is not a coy reference to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court civil rights case Loving v. Virginia decided on June 12, 1967. That case overturned Virginia's anti-miscegenation law, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 and thus legalized inter-racial marriages in Virginia. Richard and Mildred Loving were previously sentenced under Virginia Code for marriage between a white and non-white person.