Mildred was multiracial and started dating a white male, Richard Loving. At the age of 18 she became pregnant and so they decided to marry. They could not marry in Virginia because of their race so they drove to Washington D.C. to get married. After the Loving’s were married they returned home to Virginia. Mildred and Richard were married only a few weeks before two deputies came into their home in the middle of the night to arrest them for violating Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act, which forbid interracial marriage. They were told their marriage certificate held no power in Virginia. One huge reason states had these laws were because they did not want multiracial children. After serving some jail time and pleading guilty they were ordered to leave the state of Virginia for twenty-five years to avoid prison time. The Loving’s moved to Washington D.C., but Mildred missed Virginia. She decided to sit down one day and write a letter to the Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy. The American Civil Liberties Union then got involved. The case was Loving vs. Virginia. The Supreme Court struck down the Virginia law in 1967 which also ended the remaining ban on interracial marriages in other states. The judges unanimously ruled in favor of the Loving’s with the chief justice writing “the freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.” This ruling ultimately marked the end of segregation laws in America.
Picture Credit: NYtimes.com