1967: The Year Interracial Marriage Became Legal

The Richard and Mildred Loving Documentary

BBC (2009)

Film Review

This film is about a 1967 Supreme Court case in which an interracial couple successfully challenged a Virginia law prohibiting miscegenation.

Mildred and Richard Loving legally married in Washington DC in 1958. However they were arrested and thrown in jail when they returned to their home in Central Point Virginia. The court ultimately ordered them to leave Virginia for 25 years or face a one year jail sentence.

Relocating to Washington DC, they were jailed every time they tried to visit Mildred’s family in Central Point.

In the early sixties, Mildred wrote to attorney general Robert F Kennedy, who referred the couple to the ACLU. The latter appealed the Lovings’ sentence in the Virginia Supreme Court and lost. A 1967 appeal to the US Supreme Court prevailed, effectively abolishing the anti-miscegenation laws that remained in sixteen southern states.

As late as 1947, thirty states, including California and Oregon, had laws against interracial marriage.

The documentary is in three parts – Parts 2 and 3 launch automatically.