Photograph of Mildred Loving and Richard Loving dated June 12, 1967

By the Equal Justice Initiative

After marrying in Washington, D.C., in 1958, Richard and Mildred Loving returned to their native Caroline County, Virginia, to build a home and start a family. Their union was a criminal act in Virginia because Richard was white, Mildred was black, and the state’s Racial Integrity Act, passed in 1924, criminalized interracial marriage.

On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pleaded guilty to both charges. After their conviction and release, the Lovings fought the law that had branded their love a crime and, on June 12, 1967, won a United States Supreme Court decision that would change the nation.

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