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Loving Day on June 12 honors Virginia couple who made interracial marriage legal

Mildred Loving, Richard Loving
Posted at 6:43 PM, Jun 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-12 18:43:02-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Sixty-three years ago, Richard and Mildred Loving changed the nation by saying, "I do."

The couple got married on June 2, 1958, in Washington D.C., but when they returned to Caroline County, Virginia, they were arrested because their marriage was not legal.

Richard was White and Mildred was Black and Native American, so their marriage violated the Racial Integrity Act of 1924.

Richard and Mildred were charged with unlawful cohabitation and given two options: either continue to serve jail time or leave Virginia for 25 years.

The couple faced ostracism and threats, but they took their case to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the state's ban against interracial marriage.

On June 12, 1967, that case – Loving v. Virginia – produced a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down laws in 16 states prohibiting interracial marriage.

Every year supporters celebrate Loving Day – a day to reflect on and celebrate multicultural unions.

Their story was depicted in the 2016 movie “Loving” as well as the 2011 documentary “The Loving Story.”