Daily Video

May 8, 2008

Freedom to Marry: The Loving Case that Overturned Anti-Miscegenation Laws

Fifty years ago, Mildred Loving and her husband were convicted and sentenced for being married to each other. As Mildred later put it: “Richard and I love one another, and we want the right to live together in Virginia and raise our children there.”

U.S. miscegenation laws date back to at least 1630, and were even declared constitutional by the 1883 Supreme Court. Up until the mid 1960s, Virginia and 19 other states still prohibited interracial marriage. Thanks to the persistence of Mildred Loving, and the help of an ACLU lawyer, Virginia’s law was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1967.

A widow living with her children for 21 years, Mildred Loving died at home last Friday in Milford, Virginia, at the age of 68. In this video report, Mildred’s ACLU lawyer recounts the narrative of the case.

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