RICHMOND, Va. — The couple whose love for each other helped end Virginia’s law restricting interracial marriage will be honored with a state historical marker.
The marker, which tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, will be dedicated Monday afternoon outside the Patrick Henry Building at 1111 E. Broad Street.
“[The marker] commemorates a landmark decision in 1967 by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Loving v. Virginia that overturned all state laws restricting interracial marriage,” a spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources said. “[The marker’s location is] the former site of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, where the case was heard before it reached the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter, both of Caroline County, were arrested in July 1958 for “violating Virginia’s laws against interracial marriage,” the historical marker reads.
They were sentenced to a year in jail, with the sentence suspended “on the condition that they leave Virginia.”
The Lovings’ story was recently the subject of an award-winning feature film.
Richard Loving was killed in a 1975 automobile accident.
Mildred passed away in 2008.
The marker was paid for with money from a federal transportation grant.
Text of marker:
Loving v. Virginia
Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter, defined under Virginia’s 1924 Racial Integrity Act as an interracial couple, married in June 1958 in Washington, D.C., and returned home to Caroline County. Arrested in July for violating Virginia’s laws against interracial marriage, the Lovings were convicted and sentenced to one year in jail, suspended on the condition that they leave Virginia. In 1963 they obtained help from the American Civil Liberties Union, which unsuccessfully sought to reverse their convictions in the state courts of Virginia and then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which, in the case Loving v. Virginia (1967), overturned all state laws restricting marriage on the basis of race.