With a perfect last name amid imperfect circumstances, Richard and Mildred Loving made history when their fight for the state of Virginia to recognize their interracial marriage made it all the way to the Supreme Court in 1967.
Some facts about one of the most famous coule:
- The Lovings were married on July 11, 1958, and were arrested five weeks later when the county sheriff and two deputies burst into their bedroom in the early morning hours.
- Although the couple lawfully wed in Washington, D.C., their union was not recognized in Virginia, which was one of 24 states that banned interracial marriage.The judge allowed them to flee the state of Virginia in lieu of spending a year in prison.
- Emboldened by the civil rights movement, Mildred wrote to U.S. Attorney General Robert. F. Kennedy for help. Kennedy referred her to the American Civil Liberties Union, which agreed to take the case.
- The case made its way to the Supreme Court in 1967, with the judges unanimously ruling in the couple’s favor. Their decision wiped away the country’s last remaining segregation laws.
- Just eight years after the Supreme Court decision, Richard Loving died in a car accident. Mildred Loving died of pneumonia in 2008. A year before her death, she acknowledged the 40th anniversary of the ruling, and expressed her support for gays and lesbians to have the right to marry, per the Times.