#ThrowbackThursday: Loving v. Virginia, 1967

Mildred and Richard Loving (The New York Times)

Mildred and Richard Loving (The New York Times)

Virginia newlyweds Richard and Mildred Loving were arrested shortly after their wedding in 1958. The reason? As Life magazine would later put it, “the crime of being married.”

The Lovings had violated Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which banned interracial relationships and marriage. The couple avoided prison time be agreeing to leave Virginia and not come back for 25 years.

In 1964, the couple took their case to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which eventually went all the way to the Supreme Court. On June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Racial Integrity Act was unconstitutional. The decision made states’ anti-miscegenation laws unenforceable (though many of the laws remained on the books for years later).

Today, nearly 50 years later, the Loving v. Virginia case continues to resonate. In 2015, the decision was cited in Obergefell v. Hodges in arguments in favor of marriage equality to the case’s success. A documentary “The Loving Story” was released in 2011, and “Loving” was released in 2016 with Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as the historic couple.

 

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#ThrowbackThursday: “The Loving Story,” 2011

Richard and Mildred Loving, 'The Loving Story' (Documentary Daze)

Richard and Mildred Loving, ‘The Loving Story’ (Documentary Daze)

Documentary “The Loving Story” was released in 2011, and examined the lives of Richard and Mildred Loving. An interracial couple from Virginia, they¬†were arrested for violating Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law shortly after their wedding in 1958. The film examines their struggle to remain married and able to live in Virginia, which led to the historic Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision of 1967.

The film was directed by Nancy Buirski, premiered in 2012, and won a Peabody Award.