Monday, May 05, 2008

Mildred Loving, 1940 - 2008

Mildred Loving, dead at 68Mildred Loving, the plaintiff in a landmark 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision that eliminated legal barriers to interracial marriage in America, has died at age 68:

Loving and her white husband, Richard, changed history in 1967 when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld their right to marry. The ruling struck down laws banning racially mixed marriages in at least 17 states.

They had married in Washington in 1958, when she was 18. Returning to their Virginia hometown, they were arrested within weeks and convicted on charges of "cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth," according to their indictments.

The couple avoided a year in jail by agreeing to a sentence mandating that they immediately leave Virginia. They moved to Washington and launched a legal challenge a few years later. After the Supreme Court ruled, the couple returned to Virginia, where they lived with their children Donald, Peggy and Sidney.

We wrote about Mrs. Loving last June, on the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967).

For more reading, see: Mildred Loving - 40 Years Later

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

Visit our Toronto Law Firm website: www.wiselaw.net

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