After their marriage, the Lovings returned home to Central Point. Especially if it denies people's civil rights. In 1967, Mildred Loving and her husband Richard successfully defeated Virginia's ban on interracial marriage via a famed Supreme Court ruling that had nationwide implications. [2], Mildred Jeter was the daughter of Musial (Byrd) Jeter and Theoliver Jeter. 'It wasn't my doing,' Loving told the Associated Press in a rare interview [in 2007]. Richard Loving was born in 1933. Mildred later stated that when they married, she did not realize their marriage was illegal in Virginia but she later believed her husband had known it.[13]. The Lovings story would also be presented in a March 1966 LIFE Magazine feature with photos by Grey Villet. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. But I have lived long enough now to see big changes. [4] Mildred identified herself as Indian-Rappahannock,[5] but was also reported as being of Cherokee, Portuguese, and African American ancestry. The big-screen biopic Loving, starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as Richard and Mildred Loving, was released in 2016. ", Richard Gere is an American actor known for his leading roles in films like 'American Gigolo,' 'An Officer and a Gentleman,' 'Pretty Woman' and 'Chicago.'. Their life and marriage has been the subject of several songs and three movies, including the 2016 film Loving. Two ACLU lawyers, Bernard S. Cohen and Philip J. Hirschkop, took on the Lovings' case later that year. She supported everyone's right to marry whomever he or she wished. Hodges. 'It was God's work. ... My Adult Son Moved In.

[5] Additionally, the frequent racial mixing in their community could have contributed to this fluid racial identity. The Lovings then lived as a legal, married couple in Virginia until Richard’s death in 1975.

With Richard knowing that he and his bride would be unable to get a license, the couple traveled to Washington, D.C. on June 2, 1958, to be wed and then returned to Virginia, staying with Mildred’s family. In stark contrast to the segregation found in other Southern communities, the rural Caroline Country was known for its racial mixing, with people of different ethnic backgrounds openly socializing together, a dynamic which informed Richard's personal connections. Peggy Loving Fortune is a divorced mother of three and she identifies as Native American. They were arrested at night by the county sheriff who had received an anonymous tip,[14] and charged with "cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth." Mildred Delores Loving (July 22, 1939 – May 2, 2008) and her husband Richard Perry Loving (October 29, 1933 – June 29, 1975) were plaintiffs in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia (1967). After a 1996 TV-movie, another work on the couple's life, the Nancy Buirski documentary The Loving Story, was released in 2011. Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter's 1958 marriage in Virginia would change the course of history when it came to interracial marriages. However, upon her arrest, the police report identifies her as "Indian". Sidney Clay Jeter went home to be with his heavenly father on Wednesday, May 5, 2010. We strive for accuracy and fairness. In Loving v. Virginia, the highest bench in the land unanimously struck down Virginia's law on June 12, 1967, thus allowing the couple to legally return home while also ending the ban on interracial marriages in other states. At the time, interracial marriage was banned in Virginia by the Racial Integrity Act of 1924. [17] In 1965, while the case was pending, she told the Washington Evening Star, "We loved each other and got married. It's a Nightmare. Richard Henry Lee was an American statesman from Virginia who made the motion, known as the Lee Resolution, for independence from Great Britain. With Richard being of English and Irish descent and Mildred of African American and NativeAmerican heritage, their union violated Virginia's Racial Integrity Act. "[13] On June 12, 2007, Mildred issued a statement on the 40th anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision. On June 29, 1975, a drunk driver struck the Lovings's car in Caroline County, Virginia. Loving was a white man and Jeter was a black woman, and their marriage was a violation of Virginia's Racial Integrity Act. "use strict";(function(){var insertion=document.getElementById("citation-access-date");var date=new Date().toLocaleDateString(undefined,{month:"long",day:"numeric",year:"numeric"});insertion.parentElement.replaceChild(document.createTextNode(date),insertion)})(); Subscribe to the Biography newsletter to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives. On October 28, 1964, when their motion still had not been decided, the Lovings began a class action suit in United States district court. [8] Richard's father worked for one of the wealthiest black men in the county for 25 years. © 2020 Biography and the Biography logo are registered trademarks of A&E Television Networks, LLC. The couple was ordered to leave the state and their case was eventually taken up by the American Civil Liberties Union. In 1964,[15] frustrated by their inability to travel together to visit their families in Virginia, and by social isolation and financial difficulties in Washington, they filed suit to vacate the judgment against them and allow them to return home. Wife Ended Interracial Marriage Ban", Joanna Grossman, "The Fortieth Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia: The Personal and Cultural Legacy of the Case that Ended Legal Prohibitions on Interracial Marriage", Findlaw commentary, June 12, 2007 "Loving Day statement by Mildred Loving". That's what Loving, and loving, are all about. Mildred, who was also in the car, lost sight in her right eye. [19] Richard was killed in the accident, at age 41; Mildred lost her right eye. With the Lovings able to openly live in their desired community, Richard built a home down the road from his extended family. Several weeks later, the local sheriff, who is believed to have received a tip, entered the couple’s bedroom at around 2 a.m. and took both Richard and Mildred to a Bowling Green jail for violating state law which prohibited interracial marriages. '"[21], Plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, "What You Didn't Know About Loving v. Virginia", "Pioneer of interracial marriage looks back", "Loving v. Virginia and the Secret History of Race", "The White and Black Worlds of 'Loving v. Virginia, "Matriarch of racially mixed marriage dies", "Mildred Loving, Who Battled Ban on Mixed-Race Marriage, Dies at 68", "Mildred Loving, Key Figure in Civil Rights Era, Dies", "40 years of interracial marriage: Mildred Loving reflects on breaking the color barrier", "Richard P. Loving; In Land Mark Suit; Figure in High Court Ruling on Miscegenation Dies", "Quiet Va. I support the freedom to marry for all. Peggy Loving (Fortune) is the couple’s only surviving daughter ... Sidney Clay Jeter -snip- His parents Richard and Mildred, his brother Donald and two daughters preceded him in death. Sidney was born on January 27, 1957 to the late Richard In January 1959, the Lovings accepted a plea bargain. In 1963, Mildred, who was known for having a quiet dignity and thoughtfulness, wrote to then-attorney general Robert Kennedy for help and guidance. Virginia’s 1924 Racial Integrity Act, which forbade interracial marriages, barred their union. The Lovings had three children: Donald, Peggy, and Sidney Loving. "[16] The case, Loving v. Virginia, was decided unanimously in the Lovings' favor on June 12, 1967. Richard and Mildred raised three children: Sidney, Donald and Peggy, the youngest two being Richard's biological children with Mildred. Mark Loving on the film 'Loving' and a Supreme Court case that ... Loving Decision: 40 Years of Legal Interracial Unions : NPR. In 1966, Richard Speck committed one of the most horrifying mass murders in American history when he brutalized and killed eight student nurses living on Chicago's South Side. Richard Perry Loving was born on October 29, 1933, in Central Point, Virginia, part of Caroline County. Overall though she is often referred to as a mix of Native American and African American. After the Supreme Court case was resolved in 1967, the couple moved back to Central Point, where Richard built them a house. The Lovings had three children: Donald, Peggy, and Sidney Loving. Born into slavery in 1760, Richard Allen later bought his freedom and went on to found the first national black church in the United States, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in 1816. We are not marrying the state. Yet a friendship developed which eventually lead to a romantic relationship. I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. This began a series of lawsuits which ultimately reached the United States Supreme Court. The Lovings and ACLU appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.